By Ho Kit Yen | Free Malaysia Today

Several parties want to seek a declaration from the Federal Court that the emergency ordinance is unlawful.

The High Court here will hear an application by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and activists seeking to refer several constitutional questions on the emergency proclamation to the Federal Court on July 22.

The parties want the Federal Court to determine the validity of amendments to Article 150(8) of the Federal Constitution, and whether the courts have jurisdiction to look into the matter.

Judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid fixed the date after the groups’ lawyer, New Sin Yew, told the court that they, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and five intervenors have filed their affidavits for the application.

PAS leaders Ahmad Fadhli Shaari, Khairil Nizam Khirudin and Mohd Apandi Mohamad, and PKR’s Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin and Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff were made intervenors during the last hearing on April 1.

Lawyer Surendra Ananth, representing Shamsul and Yusmadi, said they have also filed several constitutional questions, which the court will hear on the same day.

Federal counsel Krishna Priya Veenagopal represented the government, while Ahmad Amzar Ahmad Azlan appeared for the PAS leaders.

The NGOs – Bersih 2.0, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Centre for Independent Journalism, Aliran, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia, and Save Rivers – are seeking a declaration that the emergency ordinance is unconstitutional.

The ordinance came into effect on Jan 11 and will last until Aug 1.

They claim the government already has enough powers to handle the Covid-19 crisis and does not need to suspend Parliament.

Speaking to reporters later, New said their application to the Federal Court on constitutional questions surrounding the emergency was not deemed academic even if the emergency ended on Aug 1 or earlier.

“What we are seeking today is not only regarding this emergency. We are contending that the 1981 amendments to Article 150(8) are null and void because of the ouster clause that excluded the court’s scrutiny,” he said.