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Sunday March 1, 2009

Perak assembly cannot meet until court decides, says DPM

KUANTAN: The Perak State Assembly Speaker cannot call an emergency sitting of the assembly as the court has yet to decide on the status of the government, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“By right, the sitting should not be called as we are still awaiting the decision of the court.

“We want to establish the fact that Barisan is the legal government to rule the state in accordance with the constitution,” he said after opening the national higher learning carnival at Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) here yesterday.

On Friday, Speaker V. Sivakumar said the assembly would convene the sitting on Tuesday to vote on two motions, including one seeking to dissolve the State Assembly.

Asked if the move was aimed at toppling the Barisan Nasional government, Najib said the court’s decision would put the matter to rest.

Najib also described the reluctance of former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to return the official Toyota Camry car as “too petty to warrant any attention”.

On Feb 13, Nizar initiated court action to get a declaration that he is the rightful Mentri Besar of Perak.

He also sought to prevent the new Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir from carrying out his duties and for a fresh election to be held in Perak.

In TAIPING, Dr Zambry said Sivakumar’s action was ultra vires the Perak constitution and the Standing Orders of the state’s legislature.

“He (Sivakumar) is making his own rules. He thinks by doing this he can circumvent the Sultan (of Perak) and others,” he told Bernama after launching the Barisan election machinery for the Bukit Gantang by-election yesterday.

Asked if he would be initiating legal action to prevent the sitting, he said: “That is what he (Sivakumar) wants – bring everything to the courts.

“We must understand the state constitution.

“The assembly’s Standing Orders are very clear on these matters. You can interpret them any way you want but they must be followed.”

State Industry, Investments, Entrepreneur Development, ICT, Tourism and Women Affairs Com-mittee chairman Hamidah Osman questioned whether the Speaker had the consent of the Sultan of Perak.

“How can he (Sivakumar) call for a sitting without the Tuanku? All sittings must have the consent of the Tuanku,” she said.

Asked if she would turn up for the sitting, Hamidah said: “If the sitting is against the state constitution, why should I join them in going against the constitution?”

Health, Local Government, Consumer Affairs, Environment, Public Transportation and Non-Islamic Affairs Committee chairman Dr Mah Hang Soon also questioned the legality of the emergency sitting.

“Let the people see how the Opposition plays its political games,” he said.

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