Courts cannot entertain any challenge against Emergency, says senior lawyer

On January 12, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah proclaimed an Emergency, which will be enforced up to August 1, as a proactive measure to contain the worsening Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia. — Bernama pic
On January 12, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah proclaimed an Emergency, which will be enforced up to August 1, as a proactive measure to contain the worsening Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — Courts have no jurisdiction to entertain any challenge against the Emergency proclamation by the King, said senior lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla.

He said this was according to Article 150 (8) (b) of the Federal Constitution.

Article 150 (8) (b), he said, expressly spelt out “no court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or determine any application, question on or proceeding, in whatever form, on any ground regarding the validity of proclamation of emergency”.

Highlighting the way Article 150(8) (b) is worded, Haniff Khatri said the challenge should be on the “advice” of the prime minister instead of the Emergency.

“To me honestly, having such a provision (Article 150 (8)) would make it very difficult, even if you challenge the advice for the court to entertain, the court will say that, if we entertain it, indirectly we are entertaining a challenge to the Proclamation of Emergency.

“It’s not a clear situation, as there is no case law yet” he said when contacted by Bernama.

Meanwhile, the incumbent Institution of the Malay Rulers Chair at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Prof Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz said the proclamation was made because of the King’s satisfaction, therefore, no grounds, whatsoever, can allow any application to court to justify its validity.

“Some lawyers may argue that there is bad faith, I don’t think this is a strong ground because the (constitutional) provision says that in whatever reasons, no one can question the proclamation of Emergency,” said Shamrahayu.

On January 12, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah proclaimed an Emergency, which will be enforced up to August 1, as a proactive measure to contain the worsening Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia. — Bernama

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