Malaysian Indian speaker suspends assembly secretary

April 19th, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Ipoh (Malaysia), April 19 (IANS) Malaysian Indian Speaker of Perak state assembly V. Sivakumar has suspended the secretary of the house, a week after the federal court gave a ruling on his powers as the presiding officer.
The apex court last week ruled that Sivakumar did not have the authority to suspend the state’s chief minister and six ministers and bar them from attending the assembly.

The court revoked the suspension and ruled that the ministers could attend the assembly and participate in the proceedings.

Sivakumar Saturday again suspended State Assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri, this time for issuing notices to convene a sitting May 7 without his knowledge.

Sabri had faced Sivakumar’s wrath last month for failing to act impartially over the convening of an emergency sitting March 3.

“Don’t you think it is necessary to consult the speaker first? Who is the head of the house? It is embarrassing because I was the last person to know,” Sivakumar was quoted by The Star Sunday.

“He (Sabri) didn’t consult me at all and as far as I know, I did not hear anything from the palace,” he told media.

Sivakumar said he would seek an audience with the royal constitutional head to clarify the matter.

He believed it was “another ploy to belittle and insult the assembly”.

The constitutional crisis has its genesis in the change of government in Perak state in February. The government elected last year lost majority due to defection and a new government took office.

Sivakumar refused to recognise the new government headed by Mentri Besar (chief minister) Zambry Abdul Qadir.

Following the suspension of the chief minister and six ministers, the matter was referred to the police.

Perak State Secretary Abdul Rahman Hashim said Sivakumar has no authority to suspend Sabri.

Assembly regulations require that it be convened within six months of the last session. The last day for that would be May 13.

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