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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — The lawsuits filed against the prime minister over the suspension of Parliament and state assembly sittings during the Emergency by three Opposition lawmakers is aimed at upholding the rule of law and supremacy of the Federal Constitution, Pakatan Harapan (PH) said today.
In a statement, the PH Secretariat Council confirmed today a court challenge was filed yesterday by Parti Amanah Negara’s Pulai MP and Simpang Jeram state assemblyman Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, PKR’s Sungai Petani MP and Gurun state assemblyman Datuk Johari Abdul, and DAP’s Tebing Tinggi state assemblyman Abdul Aziz Bari.
“The lawsuit is not meant to challenge the Emergency Proclamation which has been declared on January 11.
“The application was filed to determine whether the clauses under the Emergency Ordinance which allowed for the suspension of Parliament and state assemblies is lawful and in line with the Federal Constitution,” the secretariat said in the statement.
The statement was co-signed by Amanah secretary-general Datuk Hatta Ramli, PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, and DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke.
The statement also said the prime minister with the Cabinet had acted unlawfully against the Federal Constitution in advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to suspend parliamentary and state assembly sittings.
“The federal government, state governments and MPs throughout the country required the sittings at such a critical time to gather feedback from the people they represent, discuss and approve laws, policies or measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 including other matters relating to administration and people’s welfare,” they added.
Their lawsuit was filed through the law firm Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff (CCA Law), with the three lawmakers’ legal team including lawyers Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar and Razlan Hadri.
This was just several days after Dewan Rakyat Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim filed a lawsuit on Monday against Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his capacity as prime minister and the Malaysian government to challenge the suspension of Parliament during the Emergency.
Like Anwar, they have named Muhyiddin, in his capacity as prime minister, and the Malaysian government as the respondents of their lawsuit.
Although the three lawmakers are from the three political parties that make up PH, Malay Mail understands that their lawsuit was not filed on behalf of the Opposition coalition, but in their individual capacity as federal and state lawmakers.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed a state of Emergency nationwide from January 11 to August 1, upon the Cabinet’s advice which was presented by Muhyiddin on January 11 to the Ruler.
The Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 — which among other things suspends Parliament and state legislative assemblies for as long as the country is in a state of Emergency — was gazetted on January 14 but took retrospective effect from January 11.