Saturday, February 14, 2009

Perak speaker still in Pakatan hands

By Neville Spykerman
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Perak's constitution makes no provisions for the removal of its legislative assembly speaker and Barisan Nasional is stuck with DAP's V. Sivakumar.
In a statement released in Ipoh yesterday, Sivakumar confirmed he remained the speaker of the Perak state assembly.

According to Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim today, the Tronoh assemblyman cannot even be removed (as Perak speaker) by a vote of no confidence.

He said that both the federal and Selangor constitution provide that the speaker shall vacate his office — if the assembly at any time so resolves. However there is no such provision in the Perak constitution.

The Sungai Pinang assemblyman, who is a lawyer, said Sivakumar can only vacate his office when he ceases to be a member of the Perak Legislative Assembly or if he is disqualified from holding other office, or resigns on his own accord.

Effectively the constitutional deadlock griping the silver state is set to continue. Sivakumar can, if he chooses, bar former Pakatan Rakyat defectors, who have "resigned" from the assembly, which will effectively reduce BN's majority in the House.

The Perak speaker had previously declared that assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong had vacated their seats after he received their resignation letters.

Teng said the trio may have to go to court to break the deadlock but even a ruling in their favour will not change the fact that Sivakumar will continue as speaker. Excluding the trio, BN will have 28 members in the House to PR's 27, with Sivakumar as speaker.

Should Sivakumar vacate his office for any reason, the House will be considered a hung legislature because the Perak constitution provides the assembly shall transact no business while the office of speaker is vacant other than the election of a speaker.

With no clear majority, BN's Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir will have no choice but to seek the dissolution of the House and obtain consent from the Perak Ruler for fresh elections.

However the sentiment of the people is clearly against BN and it would want to avoid statewide elections at all cost. "I believe they will opt to retain Sivakumar," said Teng.

However the Speaker has wide-ranging discretion in the assembly and Sivakumar has the potential to be a very painful thorn in the side of BN and Zambry.

"The speaker's decision on the Standing Orders cannot be challenged except by way of motion (a lengthy process which includes holding a debate in the House)." Ironically few people know this better than Teng.

On April 25, 2005 , he was suspended from the Selangor Legislative Assembly following an argument with then Speaker Datuk Seri Onn Ismail.

In an act of defiance Teng threw a copy of the Standing Orders into a bin when Onn rejected his motion of no confidence against then Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo. Teng was suspended with no pay for 30 months.


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work.
Your work is much appreciated

mengkungchng said...

Dear YB Kula,
Man can propose but only God has the power to dispose.
I can't help but laugh with glee at the stupidity of BN and Najib. Obviously the BN mob didn't do their homework or they were brain-dead when they seized power unconstitutionally.
PR Speaker cannot be removed at all! Thank you for enlightening the people on this. With our good Speaker being around forever till the dissolution of the State Assembly, this means PR can still call the shots and press its case for fresh elections. Whoever enacted those laws pertaining to the position of the Speaker of the Assembly have done a world of good to the people-friendly PR government.
Najib, Hee, Jamaluddin and Osman you can go and lick your own vomit. All of you have been played out by their own follies! You can bite but you cannot chew.
Oh, the irony of it all. What goes around come around to hit the perpetuators with a greater impact.

Morale of this comment to all the frogs.Never sell your soul to the devil. Honour and righteousness is more important than power.

As for Hee, show your face in Jelapang and don't hide anymore. You can run but can you hide forever? Sooner or later you have have to come out.