IPOH, 18 Feb 2009: In an unprecedented move, Perak state legislative assembly speaker V Sivakumar today suspended Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his executive council members from attending the state legislative assembly.
The latest twist to the Perak political saga came after Sivakumar ruled that Zambry and the six executive councillors were in contempt of the assembly.
Zambry and his executive councillors were barred for 18 months and 12 months respectively, effective today.
Sivakumar of the DAP announced the decision after Zambry and the six executive councillors were summoned before the state legislative assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee today.
“The decision is taken after they failed to offer any explanation pertaining to their actions which are in contempt of the assembly,” Sivakumar said in a statement.
The BN took over the state government when an assemblyperson from the DAP and three from Parti Keadilan Rakyat left their respective parties, the one to rejoin the BN, and the three to become “BN-friendly” independent assemblypersons.
All of them were summoned to appear before the Rights and Privileges Committee following complaints by Wong Kah Woh, DAP assemblyperson for Canning, that the swearing-in ceremony contravened the state constitution, and was in contempt of the assembly as the 10th Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had not officially resigned.
Sivakumar said that after deliberating the complaint, the committee found that Zambry and his executive council were in contempt of the assembly.
Apart from Zambry, the other executive councillors are Manong assemblyperson Datuk Ramly Zahari, Datuk Saarani Mohamad (Kota Tampan), Hamidah Osman (Sungai Rapat), Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin (Sungai Manik), Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid (Kamunting) and Dr Mah Hang Soon (Chenderiang).
Zambry and the executive councillors testified before the committee at the financial division’s meeting room of the State Secretary Building at 3pm.
They emerged some 30 minutes later but declined to meet the press who were waiting outside.
The Rights and Privileges Committee is chaired by Sivakumar.
The committee’s other members are Husin Din (PAS-Selingsing), Chan Ming Kai (PKR-Simpang Pulai), Ong Boon Piow (DAP-Tebing Tinggi), Loke Chee Yan (DAP-Kepayang) dan Sum Chok Leng (DAP-Bercham), while the BN’s sole representative is Datuk Hasbullah Osman (Temenggor).
In KUALA LUMPUR, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said Sivakumar’s move to suspend the MB was a joke, and accused the speaker of making a mockery of the Perak State Assembly.
He said the whole episode was a “comedy” because the decision by Sivakumar was “very ridiculous”.
“The speaker took it upon himself to become judge and jury when he has no jurisdiction at all. This is really a joke and a mockery of the whole episode,” Nazri told a press conference at the Parliament building here today.
“I feel that this must be stopped. Barisan Nasional state assembly members should take to court to resolve the stalemate to clarify the situation,” he said. – Bernama