For those confused by the plethora of articles, here’s a SUMMARY of the situation ( in Perak):
- Mainstream Media Spin After Federal Court Decision
The mainstream media reports Barisan Nasional (BN) now has an undisputed majority in Perak following the Federal Court’s recent declaration that Speaker V. Sivakumar’s suspension of UMNO’s Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir and his six executive councillors are null and void. Combined with the earlier ruling that it is the Election Commission (EC) and not the Speaker that decides an electoral vacancy, it is said BN now holds a 31-28 majority in the state assembly, including the three party-hoppers.
- Reality Check on the Federal Court Decision
The alternative media on the other hand points out that only two declarations sought by the BN applicants were granted, which were to declare null and void the suspensions for Zambry and also his exco. The Federal Court omitted the application to declare that Zambry and his exco have the right to attend and take part in all assembly meetings. Constitutionally, the Speaker has full power in the assembly. If that is the case, then Pakatan holds a 28-24 majority as Zambry and his six exco members would be barred by the Speaker.
- Federal Constitution vs The Federal Court's Decision
N.H. Chan, a former Court of Appeal judge writing in Malaysiakini says the relevant law, in the present context, is Article 72 of the Federal Constitution which states:
(1) The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court.
(2) No person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him when taking part in proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of any State or of any committee thereof.
(3) No person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything published by or under the authority of the Legislative Assembly of any State.
- Perak State Assembly Secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri Called Assembly Meeting WITHOUT Speaker's Consent
Following the Federal Court decision, the Perak state assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri, without the consent of Speaker V Sivakumar, issued a notice convening the Perak state assembly on May 7.
- Speaker Sivakumar Replaced Abdullah Antong Sabri with Misbahul Munir Mardukhas as State Assemby Secretary
Speaker Sivakumar subsequently suspended him indefinitely for this act of ‘insubordination’ and appointed Misbahul Munir Mardukhas, the political secretary of recently-elected Bukit Gantang MP Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, as his replacement. “ Meanwhile, the purported sitting on May 7 cannot proceed, pending clarification,” he said, According to procedure, the state assembly secretary must seek approval from Speaker before issuing the notice.
- The Perak State Secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Hashim says Abdullah Antong Sabri's suspension by the Speaker was invalid.
He said the post of state assembly secretary was under the Administrative and Diplomatic Service and, as such, disciplinary action could only be taken by the service. Abdul Rahman said that as such Abdullah remained the legitimate assembly secretary and had the power to exercise his duties as stipulated.
- New Straits Times reported sources close to Zambry's office told the New Straits Times yesterday that state assembly secretary Abdullah Antong had even a 30-minute meeting at the Speaker's office on Friday, before the notices were sent out to all 59 state assemblymen. The source said: "It was a blatant lie when he claimed to have only known about it from several state assemblymen and newspapers. He was properly informed of the sitting and the meeting (on Friday) was granted by none other than Sivakumar himself. During the meeting, Abdullah fully briefed him on the proposed sitting and explained that the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, had given his consent for the sitting."
- Sivakumar wrote in his blog it was a lie that the State Assembly Secretary had a 30-minute meeting with him.
Malaysiakini reported Perak speaker V Sivakumar has denied a newspaper report which claimed that he had been informed before a notice was issued for the state assembly to be convened on May 7. In a faxed statement today, Sivakumar said he was shocked by the report in today’s New Straits Times. Quoting sources, it said the speaker knew of the sitting date and had issued the notice.
The perak speaker said, "This is very embarrassing and defamatory to me as the speaker. If the accusation is true, why did the person (the source) not reveal his identity? Why was it only said that the person is close to the Menteri Besar’s Office?” countered Sivakumar, who saw this as another concerted attack on his credibility.
Sivakumar maintained that he was never officially told of the sitting, until he received a notice on April 17 from state assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri. However, Sivakumar admitted that he had been told about the May 7 sitting a day earlier by another state assemblyperson.
- Sivakumar is writing to the Perak ruler Sultan Azlan Shah to ascertain the legality of the notice and ask for a postponement of the sitting.
- Former PKR reps Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) told Malaysiakini that they will attend the assembly and back BN on the motions moved.
- In conjunction with the 81st birthday today of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah bestowed Barisan Nasional Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir the Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Perak (SPMP), which carries the title “Datuk Seri”, Bernama reported today.
- Ousted Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin attempted yesterday to contact the Sultan of Perak to seek a dissolution of the Perak state assembly.
According to Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, the Perak DAP chairman and former Perak executive councillor, Nizar wrote a letter to the palace regarding the dissolution.