© Provided by Projek MM Malaysiakini reported that the suit was filed by Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan, a non-aligned politician who is seen as a strong supporter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Perikatan Nasional (PN) government can expect to be served a lawsuit challenging their advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the nationwide proclamation of Emergency today, Malaysiakini reported.
The news portal reported that the suit was filed by Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan, a non-aligned politician who is seen as a strong supporter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali who is representing Khairuddin told the news portal that sealed copies of the suit were extracted yesterday from the High Court here and will be served today.
“We will be serving the sealed copies on the two defendants today,” he was quoted saying
He added that case management has been set for February 18 at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
According to the news report, Khairuddin filed an originating summons against Muhyiddin and the government, and is asking the court to decide “whether the advice by a prime minister, who has lost the confidence of the majority of MPs, that proposed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to issue an Emergency proclamation, is invalid and unconstitutional”.
Additionally, he wants the court to determine the validity of Parliament’s suspension for the duration of the state of Emergency that is scheduled to last until August 1.
Khairuddin was reported saying in a later press statement that his lawsuit is not challenging the Agong but the politicians’ suspect advice, which he claimed has tainted the sovereignty of the law and the supremacy of the Federal Constitution.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong had proclaimed a state of Emergency nationwide from January 11 to August 1, upon the Cabinet’s advice which was presented by Muhyiddin on January 11 to the Ruler.
The Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 — which among other things suspends Parliament and state legislative assemblies for as long as the country is in a state of Emergency — was gazetted on January 14 but took retrospective effect from January 11.
Under the Ordinance, among others officers in the Armed Forces are given the same powers as a police officer for the duration of the Emergency.
The number of lawsuits against the prime minister over the suspension of Parliament sittings during the Emergency has continued to grow.
Three lawmakers in Johor, Kedah and Perak from the Opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) had last Tuesday, joined forces to file a court challenge against him over the allegedly unconstitutional move.
This was just a day after Dewan Rakyat Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim filed a lawsuit on Monday against Muhyiddin, in his capacity as prime minister and the Malaysian government to challenge the suspension of Parliament during the Emergency,
The trio’s lawsuit however covers a wider scope. They are also challenging the Muhyiddin government’s suspension of all state legislative bodies during the Emergency, instead of just challenging Parliament’s suspension during the Emergency.
They also want the courts to order the prime minister and the government to present the Emergency declaration and an Emergency law or ordinance in Parliament to be scrutinised by lawmakers.
The court challenge was filed by Pulai MP and Simpang Jeram assemblyman Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub from Parti Amanah Negara; Sungai Petani MP and Gurun assemblyman Datuk Johari Abdul from PKR, and DAP’s Tebing Tinggi assemblyman Abdul Aziz Bari.
They want the court to review allegedly unconstitutional provisions in an Emergency law made earlier this month.
Like Anwar, they named Muhyiddin, in his capacity as prime minister, and the Malaysian government as the respondents of their lawsuit.
Their judicial review application was also filed at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur through the law firm Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff and their legal team includes lawyers Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar and Razlan Hadri.
Although the three lawmakers are from the three political parties that make up PH, Malay Mail understands that their lawsuit was not filed on behalf of the Opposition coalition, but in their individual capacity as federal and state lawmakers.