18 February, 2009

Perak MB, all excos suspended - Malaysiakini

A constitutional crisis looms - the Perak state assembly's special privileges committee today suspended seven of BN representatives - Malaysiakini

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and six state executive councillors from the Barisan Nasional have been suspended by the State Rights and Privileges Committee for contempt of the State Assembly.

Zambry (Pangkor assemblyman) was suspended for 18 months while the six exco members -- Dr Mah Hang Soon (Chenderiang), Hamidah Osman (Sungai Rapat), Zainol Fadzi Paharudin (Sungai Manik), Mohammad Zahir Abdul Khalid (Kamunting), Datuk Saarani Mohamad (Kota Tampan) and Datuk Ramly Zahari (Manong) -- were suspended for 12 months.

The decision was announced by State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar after a two-hearing which began yesterday.

The latest episode is expected to further worsen Perak's constitutional and political crisis which sparked off after the capture of the state government, following the cross-over of some Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen to the BN earlier this month.

The seven BN assemblymen had been referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for contempt of the State Assembly when they took up the posts in the state executive council.

Zambry had yesterday appeared before the committee chaired by Sivakumar and made up of six other assemblymen,-- Datuk Hasbullah Osman (Temenggor) of Barisan Nasional and five from the opposition - Husin Din (Selingsing), Chan Ming Kai (Simpang Pulai), Ong Boon Piow (Tebing Tinggi), Loke Chee Yan (Kepayang) and Sum Chok Leng (Bercham).

Sivakumar had yesterday said the committee called them to give statements for the purpose of gathering information and to investigate a statement of Zambry's that appeared in newspapers on Tuesday. He said the probe was done under Article 72(3) of the Perak Standing Orders.

In the report, Zambry had described as "strange" the summons on him and six state executive councillors to appear before the committee as usually such action is only taken on those who have committed an offence while the state assembly was in session.

Zambry later told reporters his presence before the committee was out of respect for the Speaker and the committee which called him to provide information.

"I came because I respect the Speaker...we follow laws and regulations," he had said.

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