Assembly secretary has exceeded his power

>> Monday, March 02, 2009

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 – The Perak state assembly secretary is acting beyond his powers in blocking the speaker of the legislature from going ahead with an emergency sitting tomorrow, the Malaysian Bar Council declared today.

“The secretary is an employee of the state legislative assembly. I don’t think it’s valid for him to say they cannot hold the assembly,” Bar Council vice-president, Ragunath Kesavan told The Malaysian Insider.

“Obviously he is sympathetic to Barisan Nasional. But whether the assembly is convened rightly or wrongly, he does not have the power to say anything. He has to take instructions from his superior, who is the Speaker of the assembly,” he added.

Ragunath was taken aback by the events rapidly unfolding in Ipoh, the capital city of the “Silver State” some 200km north of here.

Yesterday afternoon, the assembly secretary Abdullah Antong sent out a notice declaring tomorrow’s emergency sitting of the state assembly to be “invalid”, in direct defiance of Speaker V. Sivakumar’s order.

Today, the State Secretary’s office stated that the entrance to its compound, where the legislature, is located will be locked and entry denied.

Ragunath described Abdullah’s and the State Secretary’s actions as suggesting they were taking instructions from the executive arm, perhaps even directly from the federal government, which goes against the principle of separation of powers among the executive, legislature and the judiciary.

For this reason, the state secretary’s action can be challenged in court.

Ragunath said the state assembly did not have to sit inside the official building in order for their decisions to be valid.

“The building is just a symbol. More important are the people who sit in the assembly. Say the building burns down, it will be impossible for them to sit inside, isn’t it? Then, what will they do?” he offered.

Ragunath also criticised today’s statements from the Perak police chief promising to take action against anyone who gathers in front of the state assembly building tomorrow for taking part in an illegal assembly.

“The police as an enforcement agency must be seen to be neutral. Right now, they are perceived to be anti-Pakatan,” the lawyer said.

GreenBoy : Kalau tak bagi masuk kat bawah Pejabat DAP tu ada Restoran Mamak kat situ pun boleh bersidang


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