Ganesan’s presence caused and contributed to State Assembly ruckus

By P Ramakrishnan | President Aliran
18 May 2009

The claim by self-proclaimed Speaker of the Perak State Assembly, R Ganesan, that he had no choice but to summon the police into the House at the height of the ruckus during the May 7 sitting, is dubious and deceiving (Sunday Star 17 May 2009). There is no merit in his claim.

In the first instance, his entry into and his very presence in the Assembly is questionable. How on earth did Ganesan get into the Assembly? The Assembly building was out of bounds to all except the elected members of the Assembly.

There was a police cordon to prevent all the others from entering the Assembly. A 500 metre no-access zone was declared and anyone found anywhere near this perimeter were either chased away or were arrested when they resisted the police orders.

Even Perak Members of Parliament were denied access to the Assembly. Veteran MP Lim Kit Siang was refused entry into the building in spite of the fact that he had come with the invitation letter from the Speaker to attend the Assembly sitting.

Likewise, Kulasegaran and Dr Jeyakumar, both elected MPs from Perak were turned away. That’s how strict the police were. They stringently enforced this ruling of refusing permission to all and sundry.

Smuggled in?
So the natural question is: How did Ganesan gain entry into the building. Who authorized his presence in the Perak State Assembly? How did he by-pass the police security arrangement? How did he hood-wink the police? How come the police did not detect him? Was he smuggled in? Was he planted in the building the previous day?

Is it possible that the police were working hand in glove with illegitimate MB Zambry and BN Assemblymen and facilitated Ganesan’s presence in the building?

Ganesan had no business to be inside the Assembly. One can safely conclude that his appearance and continued presence in the Assembly prompted and provoked a situation which went beyond control.

Secondly, contrary to his claim that he had no choice but to call in the police, if indeed he was the Speaker of the Assembly as he claims, he could have adjourned the Assembly sitting, following which he and his cohorts could have left the Assembly.

This simple action would have prevented the Assembly from becoming chaotic and unruly. Since he did not do this, it can be rightly construed that he had contributed to the topsy-turvy situation.

The illegitimate MB and the Barisan Nasional Assemblypersons by smuggling in Ganesan had incited the unruly behaviour.

Illegally Elected?
Thirdly, the way Ganeson was ‘elected’ Speaker was also questionable. According to Speaker V Sivakumar, the Assembly had not been convened. In other words, the Assembly was not in session.

Sivakumar had stated that he would not convene the Assembly as long as those ordered out of the House were still inside. That was his stated position. That being the case, how was Ganesan elected when the Assembly was not in session?

Can a group of BN Assemblymen get together privately in one corner of the Assembly building when the Speaker was still occupying his chair and elect someone else? We have a situation when an outsider appears mysteriously in the building and he was elected Speaker when the Assembly had not officially convened.

This was not the only absurd situation we had on 7 May. On that day, we also seemed to have had two Speakers and two Menteris Besar at the same time in the same building!

The Standing Orders of the Assembly were thrown to the winds and the proper procedures that had to be followed were totally ignored. And that was the reason why things turned ugly, unruly and chaotic on May 7.

A BN-Police conspiracy?
Ganesan further contributed to the chaos by ordering the police to forcibly evict Sivakumar from the Assembly. What were the police doing inside the Assembly? Ganesan did not send someone to invite the police to do his bidding. They were already there waiting for his orders. Isn’t that very strange!

By calling on the police to drag out the duly elected Speaker from the Assembly, Ganesan had defiled and desecrated the sanctity of the Assembly. It is an unforgivable sin that he had committed that must be roundly condemned. We should never introduce thuggish behaviour into the legislative assembly where the rule of law should have been paramount and should have prevailed at all times.

What transpired as a result of Ganesan’s conduct raises many serious questions. Why did the police obey him? How did they know he was the new speaker? Was there an announcement that Sivakumar was ousted?

Or was this part of a pre-prepared and pre-rehearsed script? The way things fell into place would indicate that there was a scheme to capture the Perak state government, if necessary, by force. The plot was hatched studiously and implemented without a care for the rule of law.

This is a dangerous precedent and it should not be tolerated. It must be condemned in the strongest terms. There must be retribution for this outrageous behaviour.

Perakians will remember this shameful episode in their proud history and they will punish all those who frustrated the democratic will of the people.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 11:02 am

    Gunnysen says:”Hey, ini sangat unfair! If Najib’s cabinet can have political rejects like Senators Koh TK, Murugieh and Chew MF, why can’t me, an ex-assemblyman, be appointed speaker? If you want to sack me, you must sack them as well!”

  2. #2 by tsn on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 11:30 am

    Bussinesworld is spinning by global financial crisis, politics is upside down by twin MBs, twin speakers, frogging legislators. Najib is haunted by scandals, Anwar is throbbed by far-yet-possible PMship and high-expectation-sure-disappointed of BN antagonists. Nothing seems right right now.

    Huhh! Small consolation, bloggers still sit upright and write rightly here.

  3. #3 by siamo on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 11:46 am

    Some have asked, “Is the IGP doing his job?”

    The answer is yes, but his view of his job is doing what Najib tells him, not what is right for country. The police can spend enormous amounts of resources stopping peaceful demontrations, removing a Speaker who is an elected member of the Assembly, allowing a common citizen into the Assembly, stopping peaceful demonstrations and arresting the people who only peacefully express their political views.

    Meanwhile, there are the Mad Rempits roaming around. Are the these people putting brains and braun into this issue. So far, we cannot see any. No new thoughts on crime prevention! Try going to a police station to report a snatch robber and you bet you can write a book about the police attitude.

    The police are supposed to serve the people. Instead they help the BN government do all the dirty work to maintain power. I hope the PKR government come to rule in the federal government. There needs to be major personnel changes in the police force to be a really a peoples’ police force.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 12:05 pm

    BN’s Datuk Seri Zambry’s faced a dilemma on 7th May. His first agenda was to remove V Sivakumar as Speaker. How was he to do it when Sivakumar refused to open and convene the legislative assembly meeting unless Zambry and 6 cohorts first left the assembly? It was chicken & egg, which came first!

    So (according to P Ramakrishnan) Ganesan was “smuggled” into the Assembly. The rest then ensued in 3 steps and proceedings:

    a. Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong took over proceedings as Perak Deputy Speaker from Speaker Sivakumar ostensibly based on Article 36A(1)(b) of the Perak Constitution [which states “The Legislative Assembly shall from time to time elect a Deputy Speaker from among members of the Legislative Assembly.”];

    b. then next, as Deputy Speaker, Hee conducted proceedings to vote in Ganesa as main Speaker;

    c. Ganesan, as Speaker then exercised authority to request police to enter Asembly to evict Sivakumar in the name of maintaining order.

    Regarding the 3 steps/proceedings, leaving aside the question of moral legitimacy aside, lets focus on only one issue: are these proceedings legal/constitutional legitimate? In a nation “supposedly” run on laws this is the crux of the issue – not who has brutal might to phsically remove who but wjho has the legal and constitutional right to remove who!

    When Zambry encounters the greatest legal/constitutional difficulties is that steps and proceedings a., b. and c. relying on so called majority of BN state assemblymen huddled on one corner and voting depends on one singular point: when steps/proceedings a. b. and c. were in progress, had the Legislative Assembly Meeting on 7th May begun after Sivakumar had refused to open/convene the meeting?

    According to Constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas, Raja Nazrin as regent representing the Sultan had to first open the state assembly. The steps and proceedings a., b. and c. were taken before the Regent opened the state assembly. This means that they were proceedings before and outside the State assembly.
    They were therefore void and of no effect.

  5. #5 by Ken G on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 12:34 pm


    An even more important point to the proceedings not been opened yet is that the Deputy Speaker has no authority to take over in the presence of the speaker.

    This is clearly stated in the Perak constitution:
    Article 36A (3) reads: “During the absence of the speaker from a sitting of the Legislative Assembly, such members as may be determined by the rules of procedure (Standing Orders) of the assembly, shall act as Speaker.”

    Hee claimed this article empowered her to take over the proceedings but she conveniently ignored the condition of the speaker’s absence.

  6. #6 by sightseeing on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 12:45 pm

    All right thinking Malaysians and Perakians in particular will remember May 7 as the shameful day in the history of Perak. Sadly, this shameful episode was executed in the present of Raja Nazrin, the regent representing the Sultan who was also the former Lord President. How is the feeling of the Sultan when seeing the episode on TV? So far it seems he doesn’t care!

  7. #7 by taiking on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 1:20 pm

    Desperation and madness coupled with power craziness and personal interest (i.e. greed) were the root cause of the ruckus in the perak assembly. Of course the Assembly sitting was not properly convened. Siva the speaker had decided not to proceed until some suspended clowns leave the hall. In any event Raja Nazrin had yet to open the sitting. Despite these two matters somehow some clowns decided to get on with the sitting illegally. What flowed from the illegal sitting must be illegal too and hence have no legal effect: 1) the dismissal of siva; 2) the appointment of gana; and 3) etc etc.

    Speaking of respect for the Sultan, umno assemblymen’s conduct is clear disregard of the Perak Royalty. The assembly is really the Sultan’s assembly and they, the umno clowns, have the audacity to proceed without the Sultan and to treat the assembly as their own playground. But of course, umno is not about to complain about themselves and their own follies or about their own misdeeds and wrongdoings.

    Of all his adventures and misadventures this must be the one which proved fatal to najib. He is not a political immortal. In fact he is a goner. As gone as badawi was months before badawi finally announced his decision to retire. Is this a poorly plotted and badly executed move by zambry or is it the works of mother Gobi which is still in progress, and the worst of which has yet to climax?

    Sooner than we are ever prepared mentally, this question will ring: Will umno benefit from the political demise of najib? Sadly no. The next fella will be no better (unless that next fella is ku li – the person with little support amongst umnoputras). But malaysia and malaysians will benefit surely. At least, anyone with less negative reputation nationally and internationally (say myself not that I am of pm material or harbour such hope) would certainly be better than najib.

    What is better in the end is najib’s fall will almost certainly bring the curtain down on umno. The “RAHMAN” legacy was actually a legacy for all malaysians. But umno, in its typical bully stance, decided to hijack it and claimed exclusive ownership of that legacy. Now umno is stuck at the end point of that legacy which they so proudly claimed and owned. Disowning it at this point in time would be useless and in any event would not undo anything at all.

    On the positive side, perhaps umno has done all malaysians a great favour by “taking over” the legacy and hence confining all actual or potential adverse and negative end effect of the legacy to the party only. I dont know. Perhaps they are all great men and women of malaysia. I really dont know. But I dont think I would miss them if they were gone.

  8. #8 by Ken G on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 1:27 pm

    If the court decision goes against Nizar tomorrow it means that the sultan/governors can sack the Chief Ministers and the King can sack the PM without going through the proceedings of the Assembly but by merely professing his opinion that the incumbent has lost the confidence of the majority.

    Hence, Anwar could gather 30 BN MPs to see the King and have himself appointed PM and Najib would be deemed to have resigned. What an easier way than trying to convene an emergency session of Parliament and bashing his head against the power of the speaker!

    Is this the sort of power that Umno wants to give the royalty/governors in their insistence to hold on to Perak at any cost?

  9. #9 by Ken G on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 1:39 pm

    Both Mahathir and Najib are unprincipled politicians and have no qualms about using authoritarian methods but here you can see the difference between them.

    Mahathir achieved what he wanted through legal means. He bent the law but he did not break them. His methods are unethical but not illegal. You would have a hard time challenging him in court.

    Examples are the way Mahathir got rid of Tun Salleh Abbas and put away Anwar in sodomy I.

    On the other hand, Najib is much less savvy. His methods trampled on the rule of law and the constitution. His judges had to make illegal decisions for which grounds of judgement cannot even be written down, much less stand up to scrutiny. Najib is much less cunning than Mahathir.

    With the people more politically aware and demanding better governance, how long can Najib last in power?

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 1:56 pm

    How on earth did Ganesan get into the Assembly?
    Ask lah Hamidah Osman
    how Ganesan managed to snake in
    Maybe in polis uniform

  11. #11 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 2:55 pm

    Thick-skinned shameless Ganesan who is not even an assemblyman wanted the Perak Speaker post.

  12. #12 by wesuffer on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 3:13 pm

    makkal sakthi party as race bace party can not survive.
    nothing diffrent with MIC.
    will its affect pakatan poll result in next GE?

  13. #13 by siamo on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 4:47 pm

    If the court does say that Zambry has been lawfully appointed by the Sultan, that can extend to the national scene.

    So, hypothetically, on Sept 16 last year, if the Agung were to say agree to appoint Anwar as PM, and if he can get the police to be on his side, he could convene parliament, get the police to come in, forcibly remove Pandikar Amin, put a resolution to put in their own speaker and you have a new PM.

    This is all mob politics. I am just hypothesising and I am glad what I described about did not happened. If it did, democracy in Malaysia would buried deep down in the core of mother Earth.

    It will mean that the Agung and all the sultans can remove any MB he wishes.

    Najib, do you think that is the right thing to do?

  14. #14 by siamo on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 4:53 pm

    Najib asked the people not to blame the Sultan for the Perak situation. This has two significance.

    One, it means that Najib takes full responsibility for the entire fiasco. He organised the machinery of state, the police, the sergent at arms, got Ganesan, who has no business to be in the Assembly, to be smuggled in.

    Second, he is saying that the Sultan is below 18 years of age and does not have an independent mind, does what UMNO/BN asks him to to. This does not jell? We have a sultan who is a ex-head of the judiciary? So, what a load of rubbish. If this logic goes, why do we need the sultan, who consumes a lot of tax payers’ money.

  15. #15 by raven77 on Thursday, 21 May 2009 - 12:12 am

    Maybe its the right thing to do after all……the Sultans are back to being actual King makers……tomorrow in Negeri Sembilan….the Sultan can just tell Hassan he has no confidence in him and tell him to take a hike up Tanjong Tuan while speaking to PR assemblymen as to who should be the next MB, it could then be Johor, Perlis very likely, Pahang almost sure and Malacca’s governor will do the same if PR DUNs offer him a higher price…..I like this OK Corral thingy……the boss…is after all a boss….it’s actually back to absolute monarchy for us….and we must thank Najib for this….

  16. #16 by wanderer on Thursday, 21 May 2009 - 1:04 am

    Why was a MIC snake, a non elected Assembly person be allowed into the Assembly. What business and authority he had to summon the police baboons to remove a presiding Spaeker forcefully.
    Mine, it is only a scum of the earth with the skin as thick as a kerbau hide, unashamedly be present at the Assembly.
    These BN samsengs were treating the State Assembly like a toddy shop…not even showing, the least of respect for the patiently waiting Raja Yang Muda.

  17. #17 by ekin on Thursday, 21 May 2009 - 2:31 am

    YB Lim,

    BN UMNO has no other person with the guts to cause the ruckus so people like Katak Hee and Ganesan are those “smarter” puppets who wants to please BN UMNO as someone who dares and capable(realize not they are the stupid scapegoats) they did what as commanded. Did you see the other 2 Kataks move an inch at the May 7 incident? Nope! The sat down so quietly! REAL STUPID.

  18. #18 by wanderer on Thursday, 21 May 2009 - 9:32 am

    ekin Says:

    Today at 02: 31.59 (6 hours ago
    BN UMNO has no other person with the guts to cause the ruckus so people like Katak Hee and Ganesan are those “smarter” puppets…

    With 25 millions on the table and a Speaker position offered these two low beings will move an extra mile…
    They are simply the scums of the earth…the State and Perakians interests were far off their greedy minds!

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