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Thursday, March 5, 2009

> Emergency motion filed in Parliament

Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming has filed notice of an emergency motion in Parliament on alleged abuse of power by the Perak state secretary and the police during the dramatic turn of events of yesterday in Ipoh.

Nga, who is also the Pantai Remis assemblyperson, said they had acted beyond their jurisdiction in stopping Pakatan Rakyat state representatives and assembly speaker V Sivakumar from entering the state secretariat building where the state assembly is located.

He filed the notice at 12.13pm at the Dewan Rakyat speaker's office, calling for the emergency motion to be debated under Section 18 of the Standing Order.

Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia will decide whether or not to allow debate on the motion.

On a related matter, Nga told Perak's BN Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir to resign immediately, since the state assembly had passed a vote of confidence in Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as the menteri besar.

“I call on my good friend Zambry to resign as he has lost the confidence of the majority,” he said at a press conference.

Asked if this means that Pakatan has accepted Zambry's appointment as menteri besar - since it is now calling for his resignation from the post - Nga replied: “It doesn’t mean we recognise his appointment... the assembly recognised Mohd Nizar, which means we have lost confidence in Zambry.

“The emergency sitting was legal under the law as provided in the state constitution... the meeting also had the necessary quorum, and three motions were passed.”

The motions were:

a vote of confidence in Mohd Nizar as the legitimate menteri besar;

for Mohd Nizar to seek royal assent for dissolution of the state assembly; and

adoption of the privilege committee’s report on the suspension of Zambry and his six BN exco members from the state assembly.
The meeting was held under a tree at a car park near the state secretariat, after entry into the building was barred. All 28 Pakatan state representatives attended the meeting, which also passed a motion to dissolve the assembly.

Rebutting criticism of the venue, he said: “The democratic parliament (was established) in England 800 years ago (with) the Magna Carta (Great Charter of Freedoms), and today's legal entity is based on the Magna Carta.

“It was the first legal document to restrain the power of the king and return power to the people... the first conference of humans based on a parliamentary democracy was indeed held under a tree or in a field.
“We were forced to do so (as well) because of some uncivilised gangsters who had stopped us from entering the building... we were going there to fulfil our duties to the people, but were stopped. Therefore the meeting was held at a place determined by the speaker.”

Injunction ‘invalid’

Nga further commented on the series of decisions and events that unfolded in quick succession yesterday in Ipoh.

The Ipoh High Court injunction to bar Sivakumar from convening the assembly, he said, was only applicable to future meetings as the situation “has been overtaken by events”, therefore rendering the court order “academic”.

He criticised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in seeking to question Sivakumar, pointing out that the speaker enjoys immunity.

On the High Court’s decision to disallow the speaker from engaging his own lawyers, Nga said he believes that “the court has been misinformed (because), according to the federal constitution, the speaker of the legislative assembly is not a civil servant, he is on his own”.

“Therefore, he must be accorded the liberty to call for his own counsel in whom he has full confidence, especially when the court-appointed counsel is openly going against him.”

Nga then drew attention to attempts to challenge the speaker’s actions in court, saying that Article 72 of the federal constitution confers protection against this.

“We were shocked to discover that the judicial institution had (put its) hand (into) the legislative process...(this will) open the floodgates of litigation and make a mockery of the rule of law.”

On police action, he said this was in breach of section 124 of the Penal Code which states: ‘whoever with the intention (...) to compel (...) or refrain a member of Parliament or of any Legislative Assembly or of any State Executive Council from exercising in any manner the lawful powers of such member (...) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine’.

“What the state secretary and the police (did amounted to) harsh measures (that destroyed) the doctrine of the separation of powers upheld by the federal constitution.

“Their actions have humiliated the (institution of the judiciary) and have affected our parliamentary democracy (as well as) set a dangerous precedent.”

Nga appealed to the Sultan of Perak to allow the dissolution of the state assembly and to restore power to the people through fresh elections in the state.

“This is only way to restore democracy in Perak... the 2.4 million sons and daughters of Perak must be given their fundamental right to choose their representatives,” he added - Malaysiakini.