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Malaysia 2009: Perak Fiasco & BN Strikes Back

perak speaker pakatan rakyat BN

(The Law of the Jungle in motion in Perak – the legitimate Speaker being forcibly removed. Image source: Jeff Ooi)

One thing is for sure in Perak – things are getting absurd and the people are at the losing end in the battle between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians.

The Perak State Assembly went on as planned and passed 3 motions, one of which was of course reaffirming Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as the Menteri Besar of Perak.

BN of course did not stand by and allowed the smooth business of the Assembly. After all, they have invested too much money and time to snatch the seats from Pakatan Rakyat. At first, they deployed the police to block the people’s representatives from entering the building and that resulted in a historic “under the tree” meeting.

The next BN did was to get the High Court judge to dismiss the State Assembly Speaker’s appointed lawyers (this dismissal itself had come under fire by the Bar Council) and grant an injunction issued an order restraining Perak state legislative assembly Speaker V Sivakumar from convening any unlawful sittings.

The High Court here has declared as illegal this morning’s emergency sitting of the Perak state assembly which was held on a street under a tree.

The court granted the order restraining Speaker V Sivakumar from convening meetings “purporting to be meetings of the Perak legislative assembly” after accepting arguments that the immunity from judicial review stated in the federal constitution was only for proceedings in the state assembly.

(From The Malaysian Insider)

BN even got the State Secretary to act beyond his powers and duties, something that was just too glaring and obvious:-

The role of the state assembly secretary now comes under scrutiny. The secretary is an official appointed from the public services and is only responsible for the administrative management of the state.

The secretary therefore has no authority to decide or pronounce whether a legislative assembly sitting is valid or not.

The police have therefore acted improperly on the secretary’s advice in defiance of the speaker of the legislative assembly.

(From The Nut Graph)

Then of course, we have idiots like Azalina who have no business whatsoever in happenings in Perak to come out and give the following statement:-

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has described the Perak state legislative assembly’s “emergency session” under a tree as an uncivilised act.

“It is also an insult to the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah. It’s like resorting to the law of the jungle,” she said in a statement to Bernama, here, today.

Azalina said there had never been a time in the country’s history when a state assembly sitting was convened under a tree.

(From Malaysia Today)

If the honourable Minister had taken time to use her brains and opted from applying double standards, it would have been clear that the Assembly had to resort to meeting under the tree after the BN got the police to block the entrance to the State Assembly.

Now that the BN has things going their way, there is likely to be another round of filing of cases into the courts and highlighting of the issues in public forums. The easy way out of this problem would be the dissolution of the Assembly but will the Sultan agree to this especially after he had rejected the same request before and had appointed another Menteri Besar to lead the state? Of course, Pakatan Rakyat’s argument on this matter is the argument of their rights under the Perak constitution.

In August 2007, the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah said this:-

Constitution clearly provided for adequate checks and balances against excesses through the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches, with each protected from encroachment from each other.

“It has often been said that many a misunderstanding may be avoided if the principles embodied in the Constitution are adhered to strictly,”

(From theStar)

But how far the politicians, the police and even the judiciary have followed and adhered to the constitution (in this case the Perak constitution) strictly? What about the royalties themselves?

Interestingly this is what was said in Malaysian Insider and they nailed the point hard:-

Here is a piece of advice for Perak State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar: throw away the Perak Constitution.

Forget about the by-laws and Standing Order 89 which gives the speaker the final say in any interpretation of the legislature’s orders. And stop being naïve about the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature, or for that matter, lofty democratic values.

The battle of Perak is all about politics. The law and the constitution count for little. Today’s events seem to suggest that the two trends in vogue in the Silver State are: the ends justify the means and might is right.

(From Malaysia Today)

No doubt there is a clear case of double standard deployed here but the question is for long the uncertainly need to exist. When a legitimate government can be formed and get down to real business?

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