Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid | Malaysiakini
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun and one of his deputies have filed an application to strike out a legal challenge by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four others challenging his appointment as the speaker.
Azhar, popularly known as Art Harun, and Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon, filed the striking-out bid, through law firm Messrs AmerBon at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry on Aug 7.
This was confirmed by lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, who acts for Mahathir and four other plaintiffs in the matter, namely Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir, Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik, Kubang Pasu MP Amiruddin Hamzah, and Sri Gading MP Shahruddin Md Salleh.
On July 23, it was reported that Mahathir and the other plaintiffs filed an originating summons to challenge the appointment of Azhar and Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said as Dewan Rakyat speaker and deputy speaker, respectively.
The legal action named Azhar, Azalina, Rashid, and Dewan Rakyat secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin as defendants.
Rafique today said that the Kuala Lumpur High Court has fixed Thursday for case management on the striking-out application.
“The court has set a date for physical case management on Aug 13, to get further directions from the court on the originating summons filed by the plaintiffs and the striking out of originating summons filed by the first and third defendants (Azhar and Rashid),” he said.
He was speaking after attending an e-review (a form of online teleconferencing) case management of the suit by High Court judge Ahmad Kamal Shahid this morning.
During today’s case management, Rafique acted for all five plaintiffs, counsel Hoe Sue Lu appeared for Azhar and Rashid, while lawyer Syazwani Mohd Zawawi represented Azalina and Nizam.
According to a copy of the striking-out application, Azhar and Rashid claimed that any matters related to Parliament affairs cannot be decided by the courts.
“Whatever matter linked to the affairs of Parliament is not bound by the jurisdiction of the court, and whatever proceedings of Parliament cannot be adjudicated or decided (diadili atau dihakimi) by the court in line with Article 63 (1) of the Federal Constitution,” they said through the striking-out application.
Article 63 (1) states that the validity of any proceedings in either House of Parliament or any committee thereof shall not be questioned in any court.
Concerning the main suit, the five plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the appointments of Azhar and Azalina are invalid and contravene the Federal Constitution and Dewan Rakyat standing orders.
They also seek a declaration that following the vacating of the speaker’s post previously held by Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, all MPs must be given an opportunity to find a candidate for the position.
The five plaintiffs also want a declaration that the posts of the Dewan Rakyat speaker and deputy speaker have remained vacant since July 13.