Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Perak Assembly held at under a tree, at a car park (Updated)

It was reported that Perak State Legislative Assembly held its emergency meeting under a tree(The Malaysian Insider), at a car park (Malaysiakini). Is that lawful?
By convention and under normal circumstances, legislative assembly meeting should be held in the assembly building.
However, if that is not expressly provided either by the Constitution or the Standing Order, the meeting may be held at any place. That must has been the intention of the legislature for not fixing a designated place of the meeting.
More importantly, Parliament or Legislative Assembly is all about the assembly of the people's representives to make laws, not the place they meet.
Therefore, my humble opinion is that a meeting of the legislative assembly held either under a tree or at a car park is lawful.

Monday, March 02, 2009

What is the Secretary of the House?

Everyone is asking who is the Secreatry of Perak State Legislative Assembly who defies the order of the Speaker. However what is more important to ask is, "what is he?".
In the House of Commons in England, the Secretary of the House is called the Clerk. There is a Department of the Clerk of the House which comprises several offices for which each office is in charge of a Principal Clerk.
The esstianl function of the Department of Clerk is to provide the procedural assistance for the orderly conduct of the work of the House and its Committees. Besides, they are involved in administrative work and asssit in drafting reports.
The position of the Secretary of the House in Perak, and all other states including Parliament, is similar to that of the House of Commons.
Therefore, it is clear that the Secretary of Perak State Legislative Assembly has acted ultra vires his job function. He is no body as far as the Constitution is concerned. He is only a creature of the Standing Order. Obviously, he is not competent to interprete the Constitution and the Standing Order.