May 7, 2009

'dramatic and tragic' politics in Perak


perak state assembly police blockade and arrest of opposition mps and ngo reps 070509 28The action has now moved inside the state assembly.

House speaker V Sivakumar, after immediately taking his seat, asks the seven suspended BN state reps including BN appointed MB Zambry to leave the hall.

He says he won’t begin the assembly sitting until they are out of the hall. According to Sivakumar, he has the power to do so. Pakatan state reps thump their table in support.

10.05am: He also asked the three BN-friendly independents to leave the assembly as his legal suit against the three was still pending in court.

His order for the 10 to leave the assembly was greeted by cheers and table-thumping by the Pakatan representatives. They shouted ‘keluar' (out) repeatedly.

However, the 10 elected representatives are still in the house. A shouting match between the two sides is presently underway.

10.19am: Two more politicians have been arrested by the police for breaching the injunction against gathering at the state secretariat - MPs Dr D Jeyakumar (PSM-Sungai Siput, Perak) and Mujahid Yusof Rawa (PAS-Parit Buntar, Perak).

10.20am: The impasse between speaker V Sivakumar and BN state reps continues.

The speaker refuses to begin proceedings unless the seven suspended reps and three BN-friendly independents leave the hall.

perak state assembly police blockade and arrest of opposition mps and ngo reps 070509 27Zambry moves motion to sack the speaker. According to Zambry, the speaker has abused his powers. All BN reps raise their hands in support of Zambry. The motion was seconded by Hamidah Osman.

But speaker Sivakumar is unmoved. He rejects the motion and says his decision to expel the 10 state reps is final. The assembly plunges into chaos.

10.35am: The Perak assembly is still at a stand-off. Sivakumar keeps repeating that BN MB Zambry's motion to sack him as speaker is "null and void" and orders the sergeant-at-arms to expel the 10 state assemblypersons. However, the sergeant-at-arms refuses to abide by the speaker's instruction.

11.05am: Deputy speaker Hee Yit Foong, who is now a BN-friendly independent, announces that she has taken over from Sivakumar. Standing behind a cordon of BN state reps, she orders the sergeant-at-arms to expel Sivakumar. However, no action is taken by the sergeant-at-arms.

Zambry again reads out the motion to sack Sivakumar. All BN state reps raise their hands in support. Zambry also moves the motion to appoint R Ganesan as the new speaker. This is again backed by BN reps and the three BN-friendly Independents.

Ganesan walks into the assembly hall to accept the speaker's gown. He is quickly sworn in among the turmoil and signs the appointment document at the BN side of the assembly.

Sivakumar, who is still occupying the speaker's seat, keeps shouting "Speaker ini haram" (He is an illegal speaker) referring to Ganesan.

Ganesan conducts the assembly meeting from the floor among the BN state reps. Zambry tries to move a number of other motions.

11.21am: Amidst the pandemonium in the House, BN still manages to pass four motions. These include to (1) remove Sivakumar as the speaker, (2) to appoint Ganesan as the new speaker, (3) to appoint new state committee members and (4) to declare the tree assembly illegal.

11.23am: Sivakumar once again asks the 10 BN reps to leave the House. Failing which, he warns that he will not convene the sitting. But as far as BN reps are concerned, their speaker has adjourned the sitting for an hour. A shouting match erupts again.

11.30am: "As long as I am here, the other speaker (Ganesan) is haram (illegal)," says Sivakumar while attempting to start the assembly sitting. His microphone is still turned off.

11.37am: Pakatan reps are still in discussion with Nizar while the BN reps are glued to their seats worried that Sivakumar would start the sitting if they leave the House.


After an hour-long recess, the session continues with Pakatan speaker Sivakumar asking BN-appointed speaker Ganesan to leave the chamber.

12.45pm: The situation turns ugly in the House. Pakatan rep Thomas Su (Pasir Pinji) ridicules Hee by offering her RM50 and shouting 'Go and die' in Cantonese.

Following this, another Pakatan rep Yew Tian Hoe (Aulong) throws two RM1 notes at the deputy speaker, prompting a vexed Hee to pick up the notes and tear them to pieces.


The assembly resumes. Pakatan reps are trying to physically stop Ganesan from entering the chamber.

perak state assembly chaos in the assmbly between speakers and state reps 070509 06There is a lot of pushing and shoving among the state reps. A few punches are being thrown about as well. A number of reps climb up the table. It is complete pandemonium in the assembly.

A couple of police officers are now inside the assembly to try to restore order. Pakatan reps shout at the police to leave the assembly.

At the same time, the BN reps are trying to force Sivakumar out of the speaker's chair but he is being protected by some Pakatan assemblypersons.

2.30pm: The situation is still chaotic in the house. The sergeant-at-arms is now trying to remove Sivakumar from the speaker's chair to allow Ganesan to assume the chair.

2.41pm: Several uniformed police personnel grab hold of Sivakumar and forcibly remove him from the speaker's chair.

He was then dragged out of the House by a group of plainclothes personnel wearing tags which read 'official'. Sivakumar resists and shouts, "I am the legal speaker. Why am I being treated like this?" It cannot be ascertained if these were police personnel.

3pm: PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub who was arrested this morning tells Malaysiakini via telephone that he is being held at the Sungai Senam police station in Ipoh.

He says some 40 others arrested this morning are also at the station. He adds that he gave a statement to the police but has not been informed when he will be released.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the police have released 13 people who were arrested this morning.

The exact number of those arrested could not be ascertained but DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said the number stood at 64.

3.05pm: Ganesan starts chairing the meeting and calls for the customary prayers to be recited. He also calls for the removal of two Pakatan reps but no action is taken to do so.


3.16pm: Order is restored in the House and Raja Nazrin starts his royal address, which has been delayed for almost six hours. His speech touches on the stimulus packages unveiled by the prime minister.

4pm: PKR election strategy director and Batu parliamentarian Tian Chua is arrested outside the state secretariat building.

The police inform him that the area has been cordoned off. The opposition politician tells police that he is there to greet his Pakatan colleagues.

4.05pm: Perak Regent Nazrin leaves the chamber. BN-appointed MB Zambry suggests for the House to be adjourned. Pakatan reps repeatedly shout ‘Dissolve the assembly’ again.

New speaker Ganesan adjourns the assembly to a date to be decided. Pakatan reps to call press conference.

perak state assembly chaos ganesan appointed speaker pakatan pc 070509 045pm: Nizar tells a press conference that as far as Pakatan is concerned, the House did not sit today. He says that whatever BN did was "illegal and unconstitutional".

As for the regent's speech, the ousted MB describes it "as just a royal speech, nothing more than that. It is not opening the assembly."


It takes so little to get arrested in Malaysia today. Lawmakers, arrested today. So does that means they're the 'lawbreakers' now? Who's on the wrong side? Is it the voters, for the voters elected their reps through a democratic process and now those elected are being thrown out FORCEFULLY as thought they had committed some serious crime. As a Perakian myself, I am truly sad and felt vindicated by the 'rulling and legal' party in my state. I mean, Malaysians are watching, or maybe the world is watching this as well. What's the direction of the politics in Malaysia? It is very obvious who is abusing the powers here, with the FRU and the police being dragged into the silver screen as well.

Rule of Law or Rule of the Jungle?

My Say: NEED MEH???