By V. Anbalagan | Free Malaysia Today
A PKR MP and a senator have filed an application to become interveners to support a suit by seven non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Bersih 2.0, seeking a declaration on the role of Parliament and the judiciary during a state of emergency.
Hang Tuah Jaya MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin and Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff, a senator, said the suspension of Parliament until August under the Jan 11 emergency proclamation had no effect under the Federal Constitution as all ordinances were not tabled for debate and voted upon.
“We are prevented from carrying out our functions as parliamentarians,” they said in their intervenor application filed last Friday sighted by FMT.
Yusmadi also filed an affidavit in support of their application to be made party to the suit.
They said that as an MP and a senator, they have a fiduciary duty to the people but the proclamation and ordinances prevent them from doing so.
Last week, an MP and two senators from PAS also filed a similar application to become interveners to oppose the suit.
Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari and Khiril Nizam Khirudin and Mohd Apandi Mohamad, who filed their application on March 16 , said they had a constitutional right as members of Parliament to intervene as it involved a public interest issue.
Fadhli, who filed an affidavit in support of the application, said if the prime minister’s advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was challenged in court, the government could not administer the country effectively.
He said the King acted as a check and balance among the executive, legislature and judiciary and no party should be allowed to challenge the proclamation.
If this move by the NGOs was not opposed, he said, 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.
On March 17, they 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 case management a day later 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
Ahmad Kamal has fixed further case management for April 1.
Besides Bersih, the 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 Sdn Bhd.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the government are respondents to the suit.