|Speaker of Perak State Assembly|
25 April 2008 – 7 May 2009 (disputed)
|Preceded by||Junus Wahid|
|Succeeded by||R. Ganesan (disputed)|
|Member of the Malaysian Parliament|
for Batu Gajah, Perak
|Assumed office |
5 May 2013
|Preceded by||Fong Po Kuan (DAP)|
|Member of the Perak State Assembly|
8 March 2008 – 5 May 2013
|Preceded by||Lee Kon Yin (MCA)|
|Succeeded by||Yong Choo Kiong (DAP)|
Sivakumar s/o Varatharaju Naidu
5 December 1970
|Political party||DAP – Pakatan Harapan|
Sivakumar s/o Varatharaju Naidu (Tamil: வ. சிவகுமார், translit. Va. Civakumār; born 5 December 1970), better known as V. Sivakumar, is a Malaysian politician from Perak. He is the incumbent Member of Parliament for Batu Gajah constituency in Perak since 2013 representing Democratic Action Party (DAP), a component of Pakatan Harapan (PH).
He is also the former Speaker of the Perak State Legislative Assembly from 2008 to 2009. He is the first ethnic Indian to become the speaker of a Malaysian legislative body, succeeding Junus Wahid, the previous speaker of the State Assembly from UMNO – Barisan Nasional.
Sivakumar's tenure as speaker was shrouded in controversy surrounding his handling of the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis, where the opposition Barisan Nasional managed to obtain three defections from the elected government, enabling Barisan Nasional under Zambry Abdul Kadir to form the new government. Sivakumar had the members of the disputed new Barisan Nasional cabinet suspended for contempt of assembly. Many blogs, particularly Malaysia Today run by the influential royal Raja Petra Kamaruddin, and news portals in cyberspace praised him for his resilience in insisting for an official vote of no-confidence against the incumbent Pakatan Rakyat government of Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin before taking charge. The mainstream media of Malaysia criticised him for being partisan and biased against Barisan Nasional.
Early life and entry into politics
Sivakumar was born in 1970 to M. Varatharaju and S. Karunakari.
Sivakumar entered politics in 1997, once serving as political secretary to Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran, before winning the Tronoh state seat in the 2008 general election, defeating Lee Kim Choy with a majority of 2,571. Sivakumar holds a Bachelor's in Legal Philosophy and a Master's in Business Administration. Sivakumar was nominated speaker by Pakatan Rakyat and while Barisan Nasional nominated Junus Wahid, the incumbent, to continue as speaker. A fired up debate ensued between the two sides, and Sivakumar was elected speaker through secret ballot on 25 April 2008 at 4.05pm with 31 votes, against Junus' 28 votes. Hee Yit Foong was appointed deputy speaker soon after.
Perak constitutional crisis
On 27 February 2009, Sivakumar called for an emergency sitting of the Assembly to be held on 3 March 2009 to vote on two motions, the first motion being the affirmation of Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin's government as the legitimate one and the second motion being the approval to dissolve the assembly to pave way for fresh polls in the state. Defying Sivakumar's directive, the Perak legal advisor, Ahmad Kamal Mohd Shahid prevented the notification of the emergency sitting from being released because the meeting did not obtain the consent of the Monarch. Sivakumar's lawyer Augustine Anthony countered the legal advisor citing that as an adjourned sitting, the session is not dissolved or prorogued and therefore does not require the consent of the Sultan.
Sivakumar cited the legislature's Standing Orders 89 as giving him final say in any interpretation of the state assembly's Standing Orders. On 2 March 2009 the Perak state secretary's office issued a directive to lock the gates to the state assembly building ahead of the emergency sitting of the state assembly. The same day Sivakumar announced that he was suspending the assembly's secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri with immediate effect and that the emergency meeting of the assembly scheduled for 3 March would go ahead as planned. The suspension action was taken because of Abdullah's "failure to carry out his duties professionally", said Sivakumar.
3 March emergency sitting
On 3 March 2009, amidst a strong police presence, Sivakumar attempted to convene the emergency session of the assembly, but Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons were barred from entering the State Secretariat. Sivakumar, wearing his full speaker robes and a songkok declared a tree in the parking lot of the State Secretariat as the meeting place. The session was witnessed by curious onlookers defying police warnings to stay away a motion of confidence in Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin's government, a motion to affirm the suspension of Zambry Abdul Kadir's Barisan Nasional state exco and a motion to dissolve the assembly for snap polls were passed unanimously, 27-0.
Barisan Nasional protested the legitimacy of the emergency session and none of their assembly members attended. Nizar despatched a letter to Sultan Azlan Shah to request an audience to discuss the dissolution of the assembly.
The tree used for shade during the session was then dubbed the "Tree of Democracy" by Pakatan Rakyat and a memorial plaque was unveiled on 8 March 2009, the first anniversary of the election which swept Pakatan Rakyat to power in Perak. A webpage commemorating the tree was also created.
|2008||N33 Tronoh, P66 Batu Gajah.||V. Sivakumar (DAP)||9,302||56.56%||Lee Kim Choy (MCA)||6,731||40.93%||16,446||2,571||68.23%|
|2013||P66 Batu Gajah, Perak.||V. Sivakumar (DAP)||53,770||76.52%||Loo Thin Tuck (MCA)||15,360||21.86%||70,270||38,410||80.20%|
|2018||V. Sivakumar (DAP)||52,850||84.17 %||Leong Chee Wai(MCA)||8,982||14.31 %||62,787||43,868||77.13%|
|Kunasekaran Krishnan (PSM)||955||1.52 %|
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- "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
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- "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.