Former law minister hints at taking govt to court over legality of MCO

Former law minister Datuk Liew Vui Kong could mount a challenge to determine the legality of the movement control order (MCO). ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former law minister Datuk Liew Vui Kong could mount a challenge to determine the legality of the movement control order (MCO). ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Former law minister Datuk Liew Vui Kong suggested on Friday night that he could mount a challenge to determine the legality of the movement control order (MCO). 

According to news portal Free Malaysia Today the legal suit may be based on the lack of clarity over the status of Covid-19 as an infectious disease listed in the schedule under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act.

“I think it (MCO) is illegal and this is something which I want to bring to the courts to ask them to determine whether it is valid,” he was quoted as saying during an online forum hosted by Pakatan Harapan on Friday night.

“I have checked on the website of the Attorney-General’s Chambers whether they have gazetted it (Covid-19) and I don’t think they have.

“If Covid-19 is not part of the schedule, how can you use that as a reason to stop us from meeting in Parliament? This government has a lot to answer for.”

Liew was also reported to have questioned the legitimacy of enforced social distancing because there are no laws to define the requirement.

“I want to wake up our new law minister. Wake up, wake up! Look at Singapore. They have already passed a law to define what is social distancing,” he was quoted as saying.

Parliament’s Lower House is scheduled to convene for the first time this year tomorrow after being delayed for nearly two months. 

The postponement drew allegations that the newly installed Perikatan Nasional administration had tried to avert a motion of no-confidence against its prime minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who took power amid doubts over whether he had majority support.

But PN leaders said the delay was necessary for public health reasons. Muhyiddin imposed a movement control order just shortly after he took office as the world fought to contain the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic.

The MCO, which lasted six weeks, was relaxed only starting May 4. But citing the concerns over the coronavirus, tomorrow’s proceeding will be limited to just the Royal Address.

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