Malaysian Indian presiding official questionedFebruary 24th, 2009 - 2:22 pm ICT by IANS
Ipoh (Malaysia), Feb 24 (IANS) Perak state assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar has been
questioned by the police following the suspension of the entire state ministry by him last week.
Sivakumar, the country’s only ethnic Indian presiding officer, said the police should cease investigations as the Legislative Assembly (Privileges) Enactment 1959 and Article 72 of the Federal Constitution stated that the conduct of any member of the state assembly was protected from court action.
A team led Superintendent Amarjit Singh, also an ethnic Indian, questioned him for three hours Monday over two resignation letters purportedly signed by legislators.
Sivakumar told reporters that he had cooperated with the police team.
“I have ensured that this cooperation does not infringe or violate any provisions of the laws of this country,” New Straits Times quoted him as saying Tuesday.
Perak state, which had an opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government since March last year, has seen political turmoil after the government fell due to defections by some legislators.
This paved the way for a government of Barisan Nasional (BN), which is in power at the centre.
Sivakumar courted controversy last week when he suspended Mentri Besar (chief minister) Zambry Abdul Kadir and six executive councillors (ministers) of the BN alliance and barred them from attending the legislature.
However, the federal government stepped in with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmed Badawi asking the suspended chief minister to lodge a police complaint and continue attending the legislature in defiance of Sivakumar’s ruling.
State police chief Zulkifli Abdullah said that Sivakumar was quizzed about the letters.
Sivakumar would also be quizzed later about the police reports lodged against him for suspending Kadir and six state executive council members last Wednesday.
Zulkifli, who did not want to comment on the speaker’s statement on immunity enjoyed by any member of the state assembly, said the police would not shirk from their responsibilities.
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