High Court sets Feb 4 for judicial review bid of Muda's party registration status

An aerial view of the Kuala Lumpur High Court April 23, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
An aerial view of the Kuala Lumpur High Court April 23, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — The High Court here has set February 4 for the decision on Malaysian United Democratic Alliance’s (Muda) application for leave for judicial review on the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) decision to reject the party from being registered as a political party.

High Court Judge Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya set the date today after hearing the arguments via online from Muda’s lawyers, represented by Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Lim Wei Jiet, as well as the counsels from Attorney General Chambers (AGC) representing the RoS and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.

In a brief statement to the media, Muda lawyers, representing the co-founders of Muda, said that the AGC had objected to the application on the basis that the “remedy of appeal against the ROS’ decision to the [Home] Minister had not been exhausted’.

“We contended that, through various representations, the Minister had essentially pre-judged the matter and therefore it would be of no utility to appeal to him. Further, and in any event, the Court is not precluded from considering this matter at the substantive stage,’’ said the statement.

“Muda’s main grounds for judicial review are that the Minister had acted in bad faith, that there was no basis in law to reject MUDA’s application, and that this was a breach of the right to form associations and the right to vote guaranteed under our Federal Constitution,” the statement read.

In its lawsuit filed on January 12, Muda via its 13 co-founders, including Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman had sought a court order to quash the home minister’s and RoS’ written January 6 decision to refuse to register Muda as a political party.

Muda is also asking the court to issue a mandamus order to instruct the home minister and RoS to register it as a society under the political party category within seven days from the date of the court order.

As part of its lawsuit, Muda is also seeking compensation from the home minister and RoS.

The 13 who had filed the court challenge via a judicial review application are Syed Saddiq, Amir Hariri Abd Hadi, Dr Mathen Muniasupran, Dr Teo Lee Ken, Dr Thanussha Francis Xavier, Lim Wei Jiet, Luqman Long, Mohd Fakhruradzi Tajuddin, Mohd Saufy Nizar Abdul Rahman, Nur Afiqah M. Zulkifli, Shahrizal Denci, Siti Rahayu Baharin and Tarmizi Anuwar.

The AGC was represented by Senior Federal Counsels Ahmad Hanir Hambaly, Mohd Sabri Othman and Kogilambigai Munusamy.

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