Thursday, May 7, 2009

This morning at the Perak State Assembly

As reported by NutGraph:

 A historic state assembly sitting is about to take place in Perak in an on-going 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.

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.

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.

9.27am 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 100 meters away in a shoplot from the state assembly building, above a coffeeshop. Among those arrested is Jenice Lee, the assemblyperson for Teratai. From inside the police truck, she said, "I was just sitting down in the cofeeshop when they handcuffed me."

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.

8.20am Three men in black t-shirts outside the gate of the state secretariat building have been taken in by police (see pix above - courtesy of NutGraph).. 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.

8.15am 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. 

[More to follow]

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