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Published: Tuesday October 26, 2010 MYT 12:05:00 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Ten people, including eight businessmen and three
companies are challenging the constitutionality of Anti-Money
Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act's (Amla) freeze order.
This is the first lawsuit where the applicants are disputing the
constitutionality of Section 44 of Amla, said their lead counsel
On Tuesday, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice
Mohd Zawawi Salleh allowed an application by Senior Federal Counsel
Noor Hisham Ismail and SFC Nadia Hanim Mohd Tajuddin to file further
written submissions for the leave application.
Justice Mohd Zawawi set Thursday for hearing of leave application
after meeting the parties in his chambers.
Chow and lawyer Stanley Augustin acted for 13 applicants, who are
involved in the business of trading of consumer goods between Malaysia
In the judicial review application filed on Sept 6, the applicants
named Bank Negara and Malaysian Goverment as respondents.
Chow said his clients were challenging Bank Negara’s decision to freeze their bank accounts.
"We are saying Section 44 of the Amla is unconstitutional because it
allows freezing orders to be issued without notice to the persons.
"The order is not issued by the court but but investigating officers
of Bank Negara," he told reporters.
When asked why his clients' bank accounts were frozen, Chow said the
applicants were said to be guilty of using a money changer to send money abroad for business.
In the suit, businessman Khor Peng Chai, 57, who is also a director and
shareholder of licensed money lender CTW Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd; his
daughter Khor Yea Jye, 29, and wife Lee Moi Tiang, 52, are among the
CTW is also one of the three companies named as applicants.
The applicants are asking for a declaration that Section 44 of Amla is null and void because it violates the Federal Constitution’s provision that all
persons are equal before the law.
They are applying to quash the decision of the Bank Negara in issuing
the freeze notices dated July 28.
Among others, they are asking for costs and further relief deemed fit
by the court.
In the grounds for leave application, the applicants stated that Bank
Negara had acted in excess of its powers conferred upon it by the same
They stated that Bank Negara had taken into account irrelevant
considerations pertaining to the disproportionate adverse effects that
the wholesale freezing of the accounts would have on each applicant
and their employees.
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