Perak Speaker says EC has usurped his powers

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

Perak Speaker V Sivakumar is standing by his call that both Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Osman Jailu are no longer members of the state assembly.

Insisting that the Election Commission (EC) has no jurisdiction to rule out by-elections for the Behrang and Changkat Jering seats, Sivakumar said that he had "absolute power" to decide on matters pertaining to the assembly.

"The EC has questioned my decision and is usurping my powers," he said, referring to his discretion in accepting resignations from the the two exco members.

"I regard the seats as vacant. They are no longer assemblymen," he added.

He said this in a press conference after a meeting between Pakatan Rakyat (PR) assemblymen here last night.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin also agreed that he now has a 30 assemblymen within his coalition and a three-strong majority over Barisan Nasional's 27 reps.

This comes after Jamaluddin had quit PKR, reigniting speculation that the duo will be defecting to Umno.

They went missing on Jan 26, a day after Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasharudin Hashim defected from Umno to PKR.

Both Jamaluddin and Osman are facing corruption charges next week and critics believe their defection will lead to the charges being dropped.

Sivakumar also disclosed that he had received the resignation letters on Sunday from a man who had arrived at his residence in a car.

He claimed that he had verified the authenticity of the letters but refused to tell reporters exactly how.

He added that he "has not received any letters saying they did not resign."

However, he admitted that someone had dropped letters at his office but he had not looked at them.

He said it did not matter if they were denial letters as he had already made up his mind and informed the EC by that time.

"I do not see the point," he said.