Now it’s Speaker vs Speaker

(The Malaysian Insider) IPOH, May 15 — V. Sivakumar, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) appointed speaker of the Perak state assembly, will file a suit at the Ipoh High Court at 11.30am today against Datuk R. Ganesan, who is Barisan Nasional’s (BN) choice for speaker, which could determine who legitimately holds office as head of the state’s legislature.

The latest legal challenge will add to the state of confusion which has crippled the administration of Perak since BN’s power grab in February, and places more pressure on all parties to agree to fresh polls as a way out of the quagmire.

The speaker’s position is crucial as he controls assembly proceedings and for BN, it could mean convening an assembly to pass a vote of no-confidence in Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, rendering the current court case over who is the legitimate mentri besar academic.

Perak DAP chief and Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) legal coordinator for the Perak crisis, Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, told The Malaysian Insider that Sivakumar will file a personal suit against Ganesan for bringing unauthorised persons into the May 7 assembly.

Sivakumar, in his suit, further alleges that these unauthorised persons manhandled him.

“It is a personal suit seeking damages for injury and embarrassment, as we do not recognise at all any claims by Ganesan that he is the speaker,” Ngeh said.

But while PR may argue that there is no doubt Sivakumar is still the speaker, Ganesan’s claim that he invited police officers into the assembly in his capacity as speaker ensures that this issue must be dealt with if the court allows it to be heard.

Ganesan had told reporters that he had already been properly appointed as assembly speaker when he asked Sivakumar to vacate the speaker’s chair and relocate to his Tronoh assembly seat.

According to Ganesan, when Sivakumar had ignored repeated warnings and then an order to leave the assembly, he ordered the sergeant-at-arms to execute his order but PR assemblymen blocked the way.

As such, Ganesan asked police officers whom he had invited as speaker, to aid in the removal of Sivakumar, which they did with physical force as Sivakumar refused to recognise Ganesan as the new speaker.