By Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid | Malaysiakini

Five politicians from PKR and PAS obtained court assent to intervene in a suit by Bersih and other NGOs against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

From PKR are Senator Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff and Hang Tuah Jaya MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd; while from PAS are Senators Khairil Nizam Khirudin and Mohd Apandi Mohamad, as well as Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari.

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur today allowed the five politicians’ bid to be made party in the originating summons over an emergency ordinance that permitted the suspension of Parliament during the present state of emergency.

On Feb 2, Bersih and six other NGOs announced they have filed the legal challenge against the validity of Section 14 of the emergency ordinance.

It was reported that Yusmadi and Shamsul sought to intervene in order to back the NGOs’ legal action, citing their present inability to fulfil their duties to highlight public interest issues in Parliament.

During proceedings before judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, the court allowed the intervener applications as the NGOs’ legal team informed that there are no objections against the applications.

When contacted, lawyer Edmund Bon, who acted for Bersih and the six NGOs today, confirmed that they raised no objection to the intervener bids.

Senator Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff

Meanwhile, when speaking to Malaysiakini, Yusmadi said that the intervener bids (by him and Shamsul) were necessary in order to uphold Parliament’s sovereignty and safeguard democratic accountability.

“This intervener application is needed to support the application (legal action) by civil societies to uphold the sovereignty of Parliament as an institution that ensures democratic accountability to the people, which has eroded under the name of emergency,” the senator said.

The legal action is set for further case management before the High Court on May 5.

Three PAS interveners oppose Bersih, NGOs’ legal bid

According to a copy of the three PAS politicians’ intervener bid, they seek to be made part of proceedings in order to oppose the main legal action.

The PAS trio contended that the legal action would hinder the government’s efforts to overcome and control the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

They claimed that they have a responsibility to the people to uphold matters of public interest and which involve the Federal Constitution.

“The plaintiffs’ application has malicious motive and is an attempt to jeopardise the government’s image, which would affect the proposed interveners’ (the PAS trio) who not only have rights as Malaysians but also generally as Members of Parliament that support the government at this time,” the trio contended.

Meanwhile, Bon said the NGOs have also filed an application to refer six related legal issues to the Federal Court.

He said that no hearing date has been fixed by the High Court to hear the referral bid.

According to a copy of the application, among the issues that the NGOs seek for the apex court to determine is whether a specific amendment made to the Federal Constitution is invalid and unconstitutional.

The amendment in question is one that inserted Article 150 (8), which ousts the power of the court to hear legal action relating to the emergency ordinance promulgated following the emergency proclamation.