Malaysian court rules against ethnic Indian speaker

April 16th, 2009 - 12:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, April 16 (IANS) Malaysia’s Federal Court Thursday ruled that Perak state Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar did not have the power to suspend Mentri Besar (chief minister) Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six ministers from the state legislature.
Intervening in a constitutional dispute, the court lifted the suspension on Qadir and his ministers and ruled that the seven could attend the next assembly sitting.

Court of Appeal president Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, who chaired the five-man panel Thursday, said that the decision was “unanimous”, Star Online reported.

Sivakumar, Malaysia’s first ethnic Indian presiding officer, suspended Qadir and six ministers from all state assembly sittings for 18 months in February, citing powers vested in his office.

The crisis has its genesis in the change of government in Perak state. After an opposition-ruled government lost majority in the assembly due to defection, a new government led by Qadir took office.

Sivakumar, elected on the opposition ticket, refused to recognise the new government.

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