By Deborah Loh
Updated 7pm on 7 May 2009
Corrected at 4.05pm, 7 May 2009
Sivakumar being dragged out of the House (Pic courtesy of Sinar Harian)
IPOH, 7 May 2009: A historic state assembly sitting in Perak today fell into pandemonium in an ongoing tussle for power between the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and the Barisan Nasional (BN).
Security is tight around the state secretariat building where the state assembly is housed, and roads had been cordoned off since last night.
4.05pm The sitting was then "adjourned" sine dine (indefinitely).
4pm Once Raja Nazrin leaves the House after officiating the assembly, the heckling resumes. PR Aduns heckle Ganesan. Earlier, Raja Nazrin shook hands will all the elected reps after the House was adjourned for 15 minutes to allow him to leave.
3.20pm Raja Nazrin starts speaking. He talks about the economic crisis and the government's economic stimulus package and the mini budget and how these are meant to help the economy. He also talks about how swine flu presents new challenges. Raja Nazrin is talking about the projects that have been implemented in Perak that have benefited the people.
3.15pm Raja Nazrin whispers something to Ngeh Koo Ham and Nizar Jamaluddin after they kiss his hand to greet him. PR Aduns take their seats on the right side of the speaker's chair, while special branch officers leave the chamber.
3.12pm Raja Nazrin enters the House.
3.10pm While waiting for Raja Nazrin to enter, about 20 special branch officers have lined up at the front of the chamber to form a barrier between where Raja Nazrin will sit and the floor of the House.
3.05pm Another adjournment announced to wait for the entry of Raja Nazrin Shah.
3.03pm Ganesan orders Teja and SImpang Pulai Aduns out of the House. Requests the Bentara to remove them. The doa is recited.
3.00pm Zambry moves a motion that the next order of the House is to start with prayers and allow the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin to give his royal address. All the while PR Aduns are thumping their tables. The 28 BN Aduns and three independents vote to approve Zambry's motion while PR Aduns shout "Bubar, bubar!"
2.57pm Ganesan speaks from speaker's chair. He asks police to prevent the Hutan Melintang Adun to stop heckling Zambry.
2.52pm Ganesan takes place at the speaker's chair amidst shouting by PR Aduns. They are shouting that this is a police state.
2.43pm The shouting betwen BN and PR Aduns continues as reps face off with each other around Speaker Sivakumar's chair, now empty.
2.39pm Speaker Sivakumar has been physically removed by the police from his chair. He has been taken out the door.
Earlier, PR Aduns tried to block police from laying their hands on him. Ngeh Koo Ham shouted at the police to get out. The Simpang Pulai Adun has been ordered to leave the House.
2.35pm A PR Adun was pushed to the floor near the speaker's chair. Special Branch officers are also in the chamber. Everyone has crowded around Speaker Sivakumar's chair.
2.30pm PR Aduns line up in front of Speaker Sivakumar's chair, as if to block him from attempts to remove him physically.
Earlier, the Aulong Adun Yew Tian Hoe claimed that Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong pepper-sprayed him in one of the earlier shouting matching. Reporters were not able to get a clear view of it as the Aduns had all gathered together and were shouting at one another. Yew said he had to go wash his eyes out.
Hee Yit Foong (right) relaxing during an adjournment
1.15pm Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn says outside the chambers that Sivakumar's contention that the sitting had not been properly convened is illogical because Sivakumar himself tried to eject Zambry, the six executive councillors and the three independents before convening the assembly.
12.56pm Ganesan announces that he "adjourns" the House for another hour even though the sitting was not opened and his appointment as the new speaker is questionable. An assembly officer says that Raja Nazrin is still in the building waiting to deliver his royal address.
12.49pm PR Aduns saying to Ganesan, "Let's go, let's go. Come on." The ruckus now is about getting Ganesan to leave the House.
12.35pm Some PR elected reps have crossed over to BN side (on the left of the speaker's chair) heckling Ganesan to get out of the House Sivakumar from the speaker's chair also asks Ganesan to leave. Among the things said by PR Aduns to Ganesan are, "Please lah, leave. Salvage MIC."
(Corrected) 12.25pm Five PR elected reps heckling Ganesan, making issue of the fact that he is wearing a tag which states "Pegawai". Shouts of "Out! Out!" There is pushing and shoving on the floor between the assemblypersons.
12.24pm Ganesan tries to take his "seat" as speaker at the state secretary's table in the middle of the floor. A few PR elected reps surround him and appear to be persuading him against doing so. Sivakumar is still in the speaker's chair.
12.20pm Sivakumar saying something, but his microphone is still off so he cannot be heard. The BN state assemblypersons are shouting "Out! Out!" Ten more minutes and House is supposed to reconvene.
Speaker Sivakumar while his mic is still switched on
12.15pm Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun seen conferring with Zambry away from the floor of the chamber.
11.50am Zambry's lawyers in the ongoing MB vs MB court case arrive in the chamber. Among them are Datuk Shafee Abdullah.
11.25am The paper Sivakumar held up earlier was a letter by him dated yesterday, 6 May, stating his rejection of all the motions submitted to him, which are the motions to remove him, to elect a new speaker, and to change the membership of the three committees.
11.15am Sivakumar makes an announcement holding up a paper, but it is unclear what the document is. PR elected reps are re-energised. BN side proposes to adjourn the "sitting" for one hour. The House is "adjourned". BN reps go back to their seats and sit down. PR reps also take their seats and shout at BN to leave the House since they've adjourned it.
There is peace in the House finally, but both sides refuse to budge from their seats. Sivakumar still in speaker's chair.
Ganesan in speaker's robes
11.05am BN side is now attempting to have a debate. They are proceeding as if the House was normal. The Aduns are still clustered around BN's Ganesan, who appears to be seated next to Hee on the left side (by convention, the opposition side) of the speaker's chair. Sivakumar is still in the speaker's chair. PR elected reps are shouting "Haram! Haram!" to drown out Ganesan's voice who is reading a motion. Shouting continues.
Ganesan has been given the speaker's robes.
He reads out a motion tabled by Sungai Rapat assemblyperson Hamidah Osman, which is voted by the BN and the three indenpendents friendly to the BN. The motion is to change the membership of the three house committees — standing orders, rights and privileges, and public accounts — to put their own BN people in.
PR elected reps mostly just standing around or seated. Less shouting from them. Sivakumar is still in the speaker's chair.
10.56am State assemblyperson from MIC Datuk R Ganesan is taking his oath of office as the Perak speaker after the motion was proposed by Zambry and seconded by Hee, and supported by all BN elected representatives and the three independents friendly to the BN. Shouts of protests by Pakatan Rakyat side.
10.40am Speaker V Sivakumar's microphone has been turned off. Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong, the DAP assemblyperson who quit the Pakatan Rakyat to become a BN-friendly elected representative, has declared that the majority of the House has voted Sivakumar out and he should leave. Hee now asks the Bentara to remove Sivakumar. Tee BN Aduns are shouting "Tronoh turun! Tronoh turun!" Sivakumar is the Tronoh assemblyperson.
In other words, without Sivakumar convening the sitting, BN Aduns have gone ahead to vote on the motion to remove him as speaker.
10.35am More shouting as BN elected reps cluster around Hee Yit Foong, the Jelapang ADUN who quit DAP who is also the deputy speaker.
10.28am Speaker V Sivakumar now says, "Saya belum dipecat. Yang dipecat itu Pangkor." Zambry is the assemblyperson for Pangkor.
"Saya minta Bentara untuk keluarkan 10 orang ini," says Sivakumar, referring to the 10 BN assemblypersons he has barred from entering the House. Bentara is the House's sargeant-at-arms.
Sivakumar continues: "Dalam Dewan, speaker bagi arahan. Kalau tak faham arahan, keluar saja." He adds:"Saya adalah speaker yang sah." Several state assemblypersons on both sides are recording the chaos with their mobile phones and camcorders. Someone announces: "The motion to remove the speaker has been passed by 31 assemblypersons", at which point all the BN reps and the three independents raise their hands and cheer.
10.20am BN's appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir reads out a motion to remove Speaker V Sivakumar and all the BN state assemblypersons raise their hands to vote in support. But Sivakumar maintains he will not convene the sitting until the 10 BN assemblypersons, including Zambry, leave the House. Sivakumar says he rejects the motion because Zambry has been suspended. Sivakumar repeats, "My decision is final. As long as the 10 suspended assemblypersons do not leave the house, I will not convene this sitting." He shouts the same thing over and over again: "The person who brought this motion has been suspended. Ia usul yang tak sah."
10.13am Pandemonium in the Perak assembly chambers. Lots of inaudible shouting. PR state assemblypersons are thumping the tables. BN assemblypersons staying put. Raja Nazrin Shah has yet to give his address to open the sitting. He is not in the House at this juncture
Chaos in state assembly sitting
10.05am Raja Nazrin Shah, who was to open the state assembly sitting, is not in the House yet. Speaker V Sivakumar repeats his announcement that he will not start proceedings until the 10 assemblypersons, including BN's appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, have left the House. His decision is final, he says. Sivakumar adds that the 3 March sitting under the tree had approved their suspensions. Shouting resumes in the House.
10.03am Perak Speaker V Sivakumar announces that BN's appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and the six suspended executive councillors from the BN are not allowed into the House. The three independents "friendly to the BN" are also not allowed in. Sivakumar says he won't start the sitting until all of these assemblypersons leave. Shouting in the House.
9.50am Media queue up to get into the state assembly chambers. A metal detector screens the journalists, the first time ever in the history of the Perak state assembly.
Raja Nazrin inspecting the guard
9.33am The Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah has arrived at the state secretariat building to open the state assembly. He inspects the guard.
9.27am BN's appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir arrives. He shakes hands with Speaker V Sivakumar.
Jenice Lee, assemblyperson for Teratai, handcuffed9.27am The Edge reports that Speaker V Sivakumar arrived at 9.18am. Earlier DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, and Ipoh Barat Member of Parliament M Kulasegaran were turned away from approaching the Perak state secretariat building.
After a heated exchange with Ipoh Police Chief ACP Azisman Alias, and following the arrest of Kulasegaran's aide, the duo are turned away. See more here.
9.00am The arrested, who are inside a police truck, shout, "1BLACKMalaysia!" as the truck is being driven away.
8.55am Police have arrested a total of 11 people. Arrests were also made at the Perak DAP headquarters which is about 100m away in a shop lot from the state assembly building, above a coffee shop. Among those arrested is Jenice Lee, the assemblyperson for Teratai. From inside the police truck, she said, "I was just sitting down in the cofee shop when they handcuffed me."
Zuraida Kamaruddin being led away
8.35am Zuraida Kamaruddin, a fourth person, dressed all in black, has been arrested outside the gate of the state secretariat building. She is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Member of Parliament for Ampang and the Wanita PKR chief. She struggled with the woman police officer, shouting, "Why should you push me. I know how to walk myself."
8.25am PR state assemblypersons have started arriving at the state secretariat building. Among them are embattled Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Datuk Ngeh Khoo Ham, A Sivanesan and Chang Lih Kang.
One of three men in black tshirts arrested
8.20am Three men in black t-shirts outside the gate of the state secretariat building have been taken in by police. One of the t-shirts had emblazoned on it, "Kembalikan hak rakyat". One of the men said he was from Taiping. The three were holding pictures of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.
Police screening people entering Bangunan Perak
Darul Ridzuan8.15am Police screening media and state secretariat staff entering the Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan where the state assembly is housed. Only those with passes from the state secretariat are allowed in.
7.40am Traffic gridlock on roads leading to the state assembly in Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan due to police blocks, and diversions. No demonstrators are in sight yet.
Comments (You are allowed to leave comments until 28 May 09)
Pak Zed, Posted: 7 May 09 : 8.13AM
Is this preventive measure or is this how much the government fears that the people will have things their way?
MalaysianMan Posted: 7 May 09 : 8.27AM
As long as the police continue to [side with the BN], then they'll forever make the rakyat's life difficult.
Victor Posted: 7 May 09 : 10.26AM
BN orders a new assembly, notice issued by an MB not recognised by half of the assembly and who was (is?) suspended. Pakatan Rakyat doesn't want session, principally because Siva, the last hold on government power, might be removed. If session is not duly held, then fresh elections. If session is held, and Siva removed, no elections.
Pakatan has all the reasons not to have session, yet its people go. If they don't attend, Siva is in contempt and so too half of assembly. Checkmate. So 1BlackMalaysia is mustered, even if it matters not to outcome. The result: everybody walks right up to police, and to lockup. This is expected: defy police, go to lockup - achieving what great democratic purpose? (And stop asking, what's wrong with black - we know the answer.)
Consequently, if you visit Anil and Mkini, you see that they spent last two hours telling who is going to jail. Is this journalism, telling us what is known beforehand? Are they reporting smart politics? Tell us something different; give us some insight.
Alex TheBackpackr Posted: 7 May 09 : 10.33AM
I love the main photo, especially where the cop is pointing straight at the camera. It surely gives a lot of impact on the fear they are trying to drive into the hearts of many. Keep the awesome updates coming!
Jamie Khoo Posted: 7 May 09 : 11.02AM
BN is spitting at our faces saying: We're gonna do what we wanna do... What are YOU going to do about it?
Hang Tuah Posted: 7 May 09 : 11.06AM
Shameful. Sad. Is this Malaysia? 1BlackMalaysia or 1Malaysia? Unbelievable? Believe it.
Victor Posted: 7 May 09 : 11.16AM
This is what appears to be happening. To be legitimate, the BN must seize all the instruments of power: speaker's chair, microphone, the bentara, the dewan secretary. It has the last three, but not yet the chair. Malaysiakini says it is "chaos". Wrong. Anil says he's confused, a circus. Both wrong. The process is underway.
Lainie Posted: 7 May 09 : 11.18AM
Coming from Ipoh, reading all this is extra heartbreaking.
ez24get Posted: 7 May 09 : 11.53AM
Raja Nazrin Shah has yet to give his address to open the Perak assembly sitting. So how legal can Zambry be when he calls for the votes to remove Sivakumar and replace him with Ganesan as the speaker? It is like putting the cart before the horse.
It is amusing that Zambry has even thought of making a spare speaker's robe for the occasion. But he didn't realise that the swearing in of the new speaker Ganesan has to be done by the royalty. I wonder who swore Ganesan in as that was not mentioned.
Victor Posted: 7 May 09 : 11.59AM
This is it, the denouement. From Anil: "They have put out a table for the 'new speaker'." The point is not the table, but a symbolic seat, the dewan's formal chair. BN can't have the speaker's seat. They made another. Two MBs. Now Speakers.
rajabersing Posted: 7 May 09 : 12.15PM
Itulah kalau dah rampas kuasa tak mengikut undang-undang, semua ahli PR lepa tangkap. Orang Umno lepas tak tangkap sorang pun walaupun berada dekat dgn dewan persidangan.
Victor Posted: 7 May 09 : 12.23PM
The formal end of a democratic process is the dewan. The shouting, microphones off, the jostling, standing, gathering around one person or another - all that - do not represent "pandemonium" or "chaos". On the contrary; they are highly rationale, the purpose being to formalise, therefore to make legitimate, government. The apex of the formality is in the speaker's seat - so the purpose of the assembly this morning is for BN to get at it, for PR to preserve it.
But this power in the seat is nothing without it being obeyed. BN undermines Siva's power - via varied instruments, the bentara, the secretary and so on - in order to install a new chair. The weakest link in the BN strategy is Hee. Here's the thing that eggs us: pull Hee out of the picture, preferably to PR's side, the BN's strategy collapses. Why wasn't it done, or did they not see it coming?
malaysian Posted: 7 May 09 : 12.23PM
It's time for BN Perak to collapse.
schoolchildren Posted: 7 May 09 : 12.37PM
Childish act in the house. What a shame to both BN and PR, even my three year-old niece knows how to behave. These people should go home and learn from their sons and daughters.
EK Posted: 7 May 09 : 12.49PM
On this: 12.25pm Five PR elected reps heckling Ganesan, making issue of the fact that he is wearing a tag which states "Pegawai". Ganesan is the former Sungkai assemblyperson who was defeated by Nizar in the recent Bukit Gantang by-election. Shouts of "Out! Out!". There is pushing and shoving on the floor between the assemblypersons.
I don't remember Ganesan contesting Nizar ever before.
Note: Thanks for pointing this out. We do apologise for the error and we will publish a correction later.
Columns and Comments Editor
Eskay Posted: 7 May 09 : 1.08PM
This clowning in the Perak State Assembly is just shameful, akin to assemblies in Taiwan and South Korea only minus the physical actions.
When will HRH put a stop to all this?
Raguel Posted: 7 May 09 : 1.09PM
Is Ganesan the non-Adun eligible to be speaker? Hee, that woman who disappeared and had not been serving the rakyat - why did she suddenly appear to play crucial role when the people who voted her in have no confidence in her for a few months already?
Taiwanese superstar Posted: 7 May 09 : 1.14PM
Wish the chairs in the state assembly weren't so heavy. Then we could see some real action. Imagine the photo ops!
Squartersland Posted: 7 May 09 : 1.14PM
It's gangster's land by PDRM and not crime-preventive duties.
beeyong Posted: 7 May 09 : 2.53PM
RAHMAN … In the beginning the Rakyat were united to fight for independence.
In the end the Rakyat were divided to fight for justice.
Timothy Lam Posted: 7 May 09 : 2.58PM
Does this seem to be a clear call for a by-election for the state of Perak? Let the people have a chance to decide once and for all.
Yen Posted: 7 May 09 : 3.24PM
I hope the world is watching. Such nasty tricks must be condemned.
ngsookmun Posted: 7 May 09 : 3.26PM
I feel very sad. I want to cry when I know they forced Sivakumar out. Can't we do anything? Have to wait for the next GE.
terri Posted: 7 May 09 : 3.34PM
Bravo to Speaker Sivakumar! Bravo to PR Aduns!
You have stood your ground and proven worthy of our trust. You are our heroes! You shall have the last laugh!
siew eng Posted: 7 May 09 : 3.49PM
E-mail PM and letters to editors what you think of Najib's 1malaysia - email@example.com
nightfish3 Posted: 7 May 09 : 4.01PM
Speaker Siva should have given a hard punch to whoever was touching him. I would kick them in the balls!
dbctan Posted: 7 May 09 : 4.19PM
Everything has a price, every action a consequence. So BN has 'won' through sheer brute force. This too has a price. We won't forget.
Ex-Perakian Posted: 7 May 09 : 5.22PM
What the hell is going on in Perak? Arrest here and there, snatching here and there, dragging here and there. The rakyat should stay united on this matter and do what should be done come the next GE. The illegitimate should be removed.
natives are restless Posted: 7 May 09 : 5.28PM
This is the beginning of the end for BN .
railcoop Posted: 7 May 09 : 6.39PM
Greed and lust for power and wealth. We now join Burma and Zimbabwe and become the laughing sock of the world. In the fact the PDRM have been doing a great service by their actions to push more and more people into the anti-BN camps and doing Anwar and PR a great favour that is beyond expectations. Let us hope that the PDRM and BN continue to operate as they are doing now or act even deadlier.
The arrogance of BN has already soaked into the PDRM.
O'cassey Posted: 7 May 09 : 6.40PM
The ruling government has always emphasised that legitimacy is the rule for one to do business, so all right thinking citizens of the state should stop paying any money due to such illegal government, taxes and what-nots so that one does not commit any illegal moves by contributing monies/funds to an illegal body formed by illegal means. Shut down and take a holiday to recuperate from your disappointments. Spend more quality time with family members, holidays in Penang, Kelantan,Kedah or Selangor. Do not patronise unfriendly setups that are owned by the robbers and their fronts. Patronise only the small traders in the wet-markets, roadside stalls, mobile hawkers and small shop traders.
Ritchie Posted: 7 May 09 : 6.55PM
Anarchy and mutiny by Barisan Nasional. It will go down in history next to May 13, 1969 as a black day when an elected speaker was unlawfully evicted and where 10 unlawful BN representatives hijacked proceedings.
It is also a day where the rakyat witnessed evidence as to how the police force, special branch and hired Umno and Barisan operatives attacked Perak's parliamentarians. One wonders how an unelected MB, and who is suspended could proceed to hijack the sitting and illegally "install" a new speaker without royal consent or approval.
BN state terrorism rules. 1Black Malaysia that darkens the life-breath of democracy and the Constitution.
onemalaysia Posted: 7 May 09 : 7.02PM
Pakatan Rakyat is bullshiting us trust me. I've already been used by them!