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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Perak Regent admonishes Nizar to respect royal address

NST (7/5/09): After a chaotic morning and an equally confusing and tiring afternoon in the state assembly, Perak Regent Raja Dr Nazrin Shah was finally able to deliver his opening address — five hours after its scheduled time. Raja Nazrin, the Raja Muda of Perak, was still not spared the peace to deliver his speech when, upon taking his seat with his wife Raja Puan Besar Tuanku Zara Salim, ousted menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin requested to raise an objection on the allegedly forceful and illegal means employed by the Barisan Nasional to remove speaker V. Sivakumar.

Raja Nazrin, who had been delayed since the morning by the disarray in the assembly, then asked Nizar and ousted senior exco Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham to approach him. They did their sembah and kissed the regent’s hand.

While Raja Nazrin took care to speak to them away from the microphone, his advice, which sounded more like an admonishment, was audible over the hall’s speakers.

The Raja Muda told the duo: “I don’t want to get involved in this. I just want to give my speech, so respect my speech, when I am giving it. You understand that? If you want to work with me in future, you have to respect my speech. Understand?

“So go and tell that (to the Pakatan Rakyat state assemblymen who had stood together in front of the royal dais to take their seats).”
Nizar then told the PR state assemblymen to sit so that Raja Nazrin could deliver his opening address for the first meeting of the second session of the 12th state assembly.

However, just before Raja Nazrin could begin speaking, Nizar once again pointed out to the regent that there were unauthorised people present in the state assembly.

Nizar was referring to a group of more than 50 policemen who were earlier brought in at the request of the BN. Despite protests from PR state assemblymen, the policemen continued to remain in the House.

Shortly afterwards, the police personnel, who had formed a barricade between the royal dais and the assembly floor to keep Pakatan members from approaching the royalty, left the assembly after Nizar made his request to the regent.

In his speech, the regent reminded the state government that the tourism and services sectors in the state could be affected by the uncertain global economic climate and the A (H1N1) influenza outbreak.

“The state government is advised to take proactive measures to tackle the current concerns as well as prepare plans to achieve the Developed Perak 2015 agenda.

“The move by the state government to set up the Perak Economy Council is a good one. I believe that this consultative council, with economists, academics and industry experts as members, will be able to give rise to new ideas in the effort to confront the current economic crisis,” he said.

Raja Nazrin, who was originally due to give his opening address at 10am, also thanked the federal government for the RM10.05 billion development allocation under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and RM297 million provided for Perak under the second economic stimulus package.

He said besides encouraging downstream activities and creating spillover effects, the state administration should implement programmes that had already been approved.

Raja Nazrin also welcomed the federal government’s two stimulus packages to pump-prime the economy, pointing out that big countries like the United States, China and Japan had similarly boosted spending against the worldwide recession.

Five-hour wait for Raja Nazrin

The Star (8/5/09): Thanks to the chaotic scene at the Perak state assembly, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah had to wait five hours before he could officially open the meeting at 3.15pm.

Raja Dr Nazrin, who was accompanied by his consort Raja Puan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, arrived at the Perak Darul Ridzuan building at 9.20am yesterday to perform the opening ceremony but waited in the royal holding room after a commotion broke out involving Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional assemblymen.

When the royal couple walked in, Pakatan assemblymen stationed themselves in the middle of the hall before them as a sign of protest.

As Raja Dr Nazrin Shah took his seat, former mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin requested leave to address him.

The Raja Muda then summoned Nizar and Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP – Setiawan) to approach him on the royal dais.

Leaning towards them, the Raja Muda of Perak was heard whispering to the two that he did not want to interfere in the political dispute.

“I just want to give my speech. Respect my speech when I am giving it, you understand? If you want to work with me in the future, respect my speech. Tell them that,” murmured Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.

Bowing, both Nizar and Ngeh returned to speak briefly to the Pakatan assemblymen, who then resumed their seats for the royal address.

The Raja Muda left at 3.50pm after delivering his speech. He did not touch on the chaotic situation in the House.

Earlier, Sivakumar was taken out by several people who had entered the House before former Sungkai assemblyman, Datuk R. Ganesan, who was elected Speaker by the Barisan assemblymen and three Independent assemblymen, was escorted to the Speaker’s Chair.

In his 20-minute speech, Raja Dr Nazrin touched on the economy, administration and development of the state.

He advised the state administration machinery to be brave and open in exploring new ideas and innovation in order to optimise productivity and cut costs.

The Raja Muda also viewed seriously incidents of crime, drug addiction and the Mat Rempit culture which was becoming more prevalent now.

“The firm action taken by the authorities in enforcing the laws should be supported and the principle of the rule of law should be held dear,” he said.

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