IPOH: Perak Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong has maintained that she had the power to take over proceedings from ousted Speaker V. Sivakumar during Thursday’s sitting.
“When the Speaker is unable to handle the proceedings and the assembly reaches a deadlock, I have the power to take over as provided under Article 36A(1)(b) of the Perak Constitution,” she told a press conference yesterday.
(Article 36A(1)(b) states that “the Legislative Assembly shall from time to time elect a Deputy Speaker from among members of the Legislative Assembly”).
Hee, who is the Jelapang assemblyman, appealed to the public for understanding, saying she was only doing her job when she took control of the House after Barisan Nasional assemblymen voted on a motion to oust Sivakumar.
“I did not abuse my powers nor grab the Speaker’s power,” she said.
Several Barisan assemblymen, who were present at the press conference, backed Hee, saying that the Speaker was not above the law.
Hulu Kinta assemblyman Datuk Rusnah Kassim said Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen had themselves admitted that the Speaker’s powers was derived from the legislative assembly.
“Since the Speaker was elected by the majority of the House, his powers are also determined by the majority of the House, which Barisan (now) has,” she said.
Sungai Rapat assemblyman Datuk Hamidah Osman said Sivakumar was Speaker only because of the power given to him when Pakatan held the majority in the House last year.
“Now that we (Barisan) have the majority, with 28 assemblymen and three supporting Independents, we had the right to introduce a motion to remove him,” she said.
She added that Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir had lawfully used his powers under Standing Order 13(2) to move an emergency motion without giving notice to the Speaker.
“The Speaker had no power to reject that motion – the decision should be made by the Dewan in a democratic way,” she said.
In PUTRAJAYA, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the 69 people arrested on Thursday over the Perak drama had been freed on bail.
The situation there, he said, had been monitored for weeks by police and that over 3,500 police personnel had been deployed to ensure it did not turn ugly.
In PENANG, police have also released on bail 25-year-old Ng Eng Kiat, who emceed at a Suaram candlelight vigil on Thursday night.
State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said Ng was arrested for his seditious speech.
In SEREMBAN, state DAP chief Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the police should not have arrested those whose only offence was to wear black that day in support of Pakatan Rakyat.
Temiang assemblyman Ng Chin Tsai claimed that a plainclothes policeman told him that he was being detained for wearing black.
“The officer at the General Operations Force headquarters where we were taken to apologised profusely for what transpired.
This shouldn’t have happened,” he said.
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