By Free Malaysia Today

The Malaysian Bar and a coalition of NGOs have filed reference applications under the Courts of Judicature Act to have their matters heard by the Federal Court.

The High Court has fixed Dec 1 to hear reference applications by the Malaysian Bar and a coalition of NGOs for the Federal Court to rule on issues on the Emergency Proclamation and Ordinances.

Appearing for the NGOs, lawyer New Sin Yew said judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, during an online case management, had also directed parties to file their written submissions a month from today.

The NGOs are 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.

Lawyer Gregory Das represented the Bar while senior federal counsel S. Narkunavathy appeared for the Malaysian government and Muhyiddin Yassin as the then Prime Minister, the respondents to the action.

In April, the Bar filed the lawsuit to nullify several provisions of the Emergency Ordinance, saying they were unconstitutional.

Among the provisions of the Emergency Ordinance that the Bar wants declared unconstitutional are sections 5, 11(a) and (b), 14, 15 and 18 of the Emergency Ordinance No 1, which deal with compensation for assets, executive and legislative power, parliamentary and state legislative sittings, and prevailing law.

Meanwhile the NGOs are seeking a declaration on the role of Parliament and the judiciary during a state of Emergency.

Both later filed reference applications under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act to have their matters heard by the Federal Court.

The Bar and NGOs were also allowed to file additional questions of law after the then law minister Takiyuddin Hassan told the Dewan Rakyat last month that six Ordinances promulgated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had been “revoked.”