DAP can fight it out in court

  • Nation
  • Friday, 14 Mar 2008

PETALING JAYA: DAP can try to bring back local council elections although the Local Government Act does not allow it, a senior professor of law said. 

Universiti Teknologi Mara’s Prof Dr Shad Faruqi said the matter was a constitutional issue. 

He said the Federal Government had jurisdiction to override state laws, adding:  

“Local authorities are part of the state jurisdiction and the state assemblies have the right to pass a law on local elections but the problem is the Federal Government had already passed such a law.”  

However, he said if there was a clash between the Federal law and state law, it did not mean that the federal law must always prevail.  

“The Federal law will prevail only if it was, to begin with, in Federal hands. In other words, if the law is not ultra vires (beyond its power). Article 75 allows the Federal law to prevail over state law if the federal law was intra vires (within its power).  

“If the Federal law to begin with was illegal, the Federal law must be withdrawn,” he said in an interview after the forum on Parliamentary Reform in Malaysia at Taylor’s University College yesterday. 

Prof Shad said this when asked if DAP could bring back local council elections since the Local Government Act does not allow them. DAP, in its general election manifesto, has pledged to bring back the elections. 

“DAP has the chance to fight it out in the court,” he said.  

Prof Shad also said that Federal Territories, more than other territories should have local council elections because they were under-represented. 

“Other territories have double representations – Dewan Rakyat and their own assemblies but the Federal Territory has only the Dewan Rakyat and I think that is unjust,” he said. 

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