Malaysian state’s Indian speaker cool to moves to replace him

May 2nd, 2009 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Ipoh (Malaysia), May 2 (IANS) V. Sivakumar, ethnic Indian speaker of Malaysia’s Perak state assembly, has said that he is yet to decide whether to accept or reject a motion to replace him with another Indian origin politician.
Mentri Besar (chief Minister) Zambry Abdul Kadir is to move a motion in the house Thursday to appoint R. Ganesan, 57, as the new presiding officer, replacing Sivakumar.

Sivakumar told media here Friday that he was yet to decide whether to admit or reject the motion. He had made history in February by suspending Kadir and all his six ministers from the assembly. They returned to the house only after a Supreme Court ruling last month.

The controversy has its genesis in the change of majority in the house that elected Sivakumar last year and a government that fell as it lost majority by defection from its ranks.

Sivakumar has refused to recognise the Kadir government and what he calls the “new majority” in the legislature.

Notice of the motion to remove Sivakumar was delivered to all elected representatives last week by state assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri.

According to the notice, if the motion is passed, the next agenda would be to appoint a new speaker. All assembly members were also told to propose a candidate’s name and submit it to Sabri.

Ganesan, a lawmaker by profession, has been nominated for the post by the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN).

He belongs to the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the party that has traditionally spoken for the country’s two million-plus ethnic Indian population.

Ganesan is secretary of Perak MIC. A two term-legislator, he was not given the party ticket during the March 2008 election.

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