Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Power of Speaker to Convene Legislative Assembly

Contributed by Tommy Thomas
Monday, 02 March 2009 05:58pm

I have been asked to advise whether the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Perak was entitled in law to convene the Legislative Assembly on 3rd March 2009. Ultimately, the issue turns on whether the last meeting of the Assembly in November 2008 was prorogued (“di-berhentikan”) or adjourned (“di-tangguhkan”). If it was prorogued, only the Sultan of Perak (“HRH”) can summon the Assembly: if it was adjourned, then the Speaker can convene. According to my instructions, what was adjourned sine die in November 2008, was the Third Sitting of the First Session of the 12th Legislative Assembly of Perak. This opinion is written on that factual basis.

Please read the complete text @ http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/speeches/power_of_speaker_to_convene_legislative_assembly.html

13. It is thus plain and obvious that the Speaker in the elected House of the British Parliament, the House of Commons, has the discretion to recall the House during an adjournment, which is factually a different category from prorogation. Thus, the Speaker of the Perak Legislative Assembly is entitled under SO 90 to “have regard to the usages of Commonwealth Parliamentary practice”, in this case, the settled practice in the House of Commons, as to his own power to convene a sitting of the Assembly during adjournment.

For these reasons, in my opinion, Mr Speaker is lawfully empowered to convene the Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the 12th Legislative Assembly of Perak on 3rd March 2009.

Dated this 1st day of March, 2009.
Tommy Thomas

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