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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

> Bar Slams police for questioning Speaker


The Malaysian Bar Council has denounced the interrogation of the Perak state assembly speaker by the police.

Its president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said yesterday's police questioning was “ill-advised” and “violates the doctrine of the separation of powers in the legislative assemblies”.

“It’s setting a dangerous precedent because the Speaker cannot be interfered with,” she told The Malaysian Insider today.

 “He enjoys certain privileges and immunities under the Federal Constitution and certain enactments in Perak,” she added.

Ambiga explained that the implications of the police’s action is very dire, even if the questioning appears to be a routine procedure.

“Once it starts, no legislative assembly is safe anymore. No speaker will have the freedom to carry out his functions and duties as speaker if he is subjected to questioning by outside forces,” she said, noting that V. Sivakumar was called in for questioning in his official capacity.

“Unless respect is given for certain basic, core principles, if anything goes, it will not promote the rule of law,” Ambiga concluded - The Malaysian Insider.