For those confused by the plethora of articles, or, like me, are just too tired of this whole imbroglio to wade through all the reports, here’s a summary of the situation.
The mainstream media reports Barisan Nasional (BN) now has an undisputed majority in Perak following the Federal Court’s recent declaration that Speaker V. Sivakumar’s suspension of UMNO’s Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir and his six executive councillors are null and void. Combined with the earlier ruling that it is the Election Commission (EC) and not the Speaker that decides an electoral vacancy, it is said BN now holds a 31-28 majority in the state assembly, including the three party-hoppers.
The alternative media on the other hand points out that only two declarations sought by the BN applicants were granted, which were to declare null and void the suspensions for Zambry and also his exco. The Federal Court omitted the application to declare that Zambry and his exco have the right to attend and take part in all assembly meetings. Constitutionally, the Speaker has full power in the assembly. If that is the case, then Pakatan holds a 28-24 majority as Zambry and his six exco members would be barred by the Speaker.
N.H. Chan, a former Court of Appeal judge writing in Malaysiakini says the relevant law, in the present context, is Article 72 of the Federal Constitution which states:
(1) The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court.
(2) No person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him when taking part in proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of any State or of any committee thereof.
(3) No person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything published by or under the authority of the Legislative Assembly of any State.
Following the Federal Court decision, the Perak state assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri, without the consent of Speaker V Sivakumar, issued a notice convening the Perak state assembly on May 7. Speaker Sivakumar subsequently suspended him indefinitely for this act of ‘insubordination’ and appointed Misbahul Munir Mardukhas, the political secretary of recently-elected Bukit Gantang MP Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, as his replacement. “Meanwhile, the purported sitting on May 7 cannot proceed, pending clarification,” he said, adding that he would write a letter to the palace to seek clarification if the palace had given permission for an assembly to be convened.
So, that’s where we stand. A real constitutional mess with the BN quite ironically hamstrung by the various constitutional changes it had put through in the past which reduced the scope for judical review of the legislative branch. My hope? Prime Minister Najib will stop this BN attempt to impose a BN government in Perak that the majority of Perak rakyat did NOT vote for. Focus on fixing the economy and the states you rule, deliver “People First, Performance Now” and in the next elections you can convince the rakyat you deserve to be the government.