14 February, 2009

Perak MB And Six Excos To Face Privileges Committee

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and six state executive councillors who took their oaths last Tuesday will be referred to the state legislative assembly's committee of privileges this Wednesday, said Perak Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar.

Sivakumar, who chairs the committee, said notices to attend had been sent to Zambry, Hamidah Osman, Datuk Ramly Zahari, Dr Mah Hang Soon, Datuk Saarani Mohamad, Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid and Zainol Fadzi Paharudin through the assembly secretary, Abdullah Antong.

Sivakumar said the decision follows a complaint letter sent to him by Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh on Thursday that the seven Barisan Nasional assemblymen (BN) be referred to the committee for contempt of the state assembly.

"After meeting, the committee found there was basis or prima facie for the complaint. So the committee made a unanimous decision," Sivakumar told reporters at his office here today.

He said the committee meeting on Feb 12 was attended by himself, Husin Din (Selingsing assemblyman), Chan Ming Kai (Simpang Pulai), Ong Boon Piow (Tebing Tinggi), Loke Chee Yan (Kepayang) and Sum Chok Leng (Bercham) while the sole member from the BN, Temengor state assemblyman Datuk Hasbullah Osman, could not attend as he had a programme in Gerik.

Hamidah is the chairman of the committee for industry, investments, entrepreneur development, ICT, tourism and women affairs; Ramly (infrastructure, public amenities, energy and water); Mah (health, local government, consumer affairs, environment, public transport and non-Muslim affairs); Saarani (information, rural development, poverty eradication, plantations, and welfare); Mohd Zahir (education, higher education, science and technology); and Zainol Fadzi (arts, culture, youth and sports).

Asked about the punishment that can be meted out to the menteri besar and the excos, Sivakumar said the committee would only carry out investigation and table a report and proposal at the next assembly sitting.

"A decision will be made in the assembly," he said.

Sivakumar declined to reveal the contents of Wong's complaint but newspapers today reported that Wong in his letter alleged that the appointment process of Zamby as menteri besar and his exco lineup had violated the Perak state constititution.

Meanwhile, at a news conference at Wisma DAP here, state DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said Sivakumar had the power to issue a warrant of arrest for the menteri besar and the six excos if they did not appear before the privileges committee.

He said suspending the seven BN assemblymen was among punishment that could be suggested by the committee.




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