By V. Anbalagan | Free Malaysia Today

Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari says if the prime minister’s advice to the king was challenged in court, the government could not administer the country effectively. – BERNAMA

An MP and two senators from PAS have filed an application to become interveners to oppose a suit by seven non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Bersih 2.0, which are seeking a declaration on the role of Parliament and the judiciary during a state of emergency.

Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari and Khiril Nizam Khirudin and Mohd Apandi Mohamad, who filed their application two days ago, said as Parliament members they had a constitutional right to intervene as it involved a public interest issue.

On Jan 11, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah declared a state of emergency until Aug 1, or until an earlier date if the number of daily cases goes down, to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Fadhli, who filed an affidavit in support of the application, said if the prime minister’s advice to the king was challenged in court, the government could not administer the country effectively.

He said the king acted as a check and balance between the executive, legislature and judiciary and no party should be allowed to challenge the proclamation.

He said, in cause papers sighted by FMT, that if this move by the NGOs was not opposed, it would open a floodgate of legal challenges on the executive’s advice to the king and set a bad precedent.

The NGOs, had on Feb 2, filed an originating summons at the High Court seeking several declarations regarding the state of emergency.

Yesterday, the NGOs filed an application under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act, to refer the matter straight to the Federal Court.

Lawyer Edmund Bon, representing the NGOs, informed judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid during a case management today that his clients had filed several legal questions for the Federal Court to determine.

One question is whether an amendment to the constitution in 1981 to entirely oust the jurisdiction of the courts is unconstitutional

The judge was also informed that Hang Tuah Jaya MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin and Senator Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff from PKR would also be filing an application to become interveners.

The judge was informed that the duo’s lawyer A Surendra Ananth would file the cause papers by March 23.

Contacted later, Surendra said his clients’ would support the NGOs.

Ahmad Kamal has fixed another case management for April 1.

Federal counsel Krishna Priya Venugopal represented Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the government while Ahmad Amzar Ahmad Azlan appeared for the PAS trio.

Andrew Khoo Chin Hock held a watching brief for the Malaysian Bar.

Besides Bersih, the other NGOs are Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Aliran, the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (Gerak) and Save Rivers.