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Published: Friday February 27, 2009 MYT 4:46:00 PM
Updated: Friday February 27, 2009 MYT 8:31:18 PM

Perak Speaker calls for emergency sitting on March 3 (Update 2)

IPOH: Perak Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar invokes Standing Order 8 and 11 to call for an emergency state assembly on March 3 to vote on two motions related to the constitutional crisis in Perak.

He declined to spell out the two motions but Perak DAP chairman and former senior exco Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said one motion was to reaffirm support for Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as Perak Mentri Besar and another was to seek dissolution of the state assembly.

One motion, Sivakumar said, was from PAS -Titi Serong assemblyman Dr Khalil Idham Lim Abdullah while the other was from PKR’s Teja assemblyman Chang Lih Kang.

“Under normal circumstances, the Standing Orders say that you need 14 days (of notice) to be given (to convene the state assembly).

“But in the event of an emergency, the Speaker can decide and call for a sitting anytime,” he said in a hastily called press conference at his office at the state secretariat here at 3.35pm on Friday.

To a question, Sivakumar said convening an emergency sitting of the state assembly did not require the consent of Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah.

His lawyer Chan Kok Keong cut in to say that the Sultan of Perak was only needed to summon a sitting by way of royal proclamation if the assembly had been dissolved or prorogued (adjourned by royal prerogative).

However because the last sitting was adjourned, the assembly could carry on its usual business in an emergency session on March 3, claimed Chan.

Sivakumar said he had instructed assembly secretary Abdullah Antong to send out the notices to all state assemblymen except for the “10 who have been suspended and resigned”.

He was referring to Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his six exco members whom he barred from assembly sittings, and Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu and Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong whose resignation letters he received.

However, Sivakumar admitted he faced problems sending out the notices from “government servants” seeking to prevent him from convening the emergency sitting.

In particular, Sivakumar said he was informed that state legal advisor Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid had apparently warned the assembly secretary not to send out the notices.

“They are giving all kinds of reasons to stop us from having our sitting. I think this is another ridiculous move that should also be considered a contempt of the assembly,” he added.

Asked if calling for an emergency sitting could be construed as showing contempt for the Sultan of Perak, Sivakumar said:

“No, I’m just following Standing Order 11 which says that meetings of the assembly during each Session shall be held on such days and shall begin at such hour as the Speaker shall determine.”

Asked what would happen if the 10 Barisan and independent representatives turned up, Sivakumar said: “We will take some measures for that.”

Asked if certain quarters would view him as biased as a Pakatan member and Tronoh assemblyman, Sivakumar said:

“No, I received a motion from a member of the assembly so I am acting accordingly.”

Former state senior exco Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, who was also present, later told reporters that the two motions involved seeking the dissolution of the state assembly and reaffirming support for Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as mentri besar.

Ngeh also appealed to the Sultan of Perak, as someone above politics, to summon the Prime Minister, Dr Zambry and Pakatan leaders together to discuss an amicable solution to the crisis in the state.

Standing Order 8 (1) reads that at least 14 days before the opening of a new session or the reassembling of the assembly, the Secretary to the Assembly shall send to each member a proclamation summoning the assembly.

Provided that in an emergency such notice may be dispensed with, and in that event the notice shall be given as soon as possible.

Standing Order 11 reads that the meetings of the assembly during each Sesson shall be held on such days and shall begin at such hour as Mr Speaker shall determine.

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