Govt applies to strike out lawyer’s Emergency suit

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has applied to strike out a lawsuit filed by a lawyer who is challenging the decision by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in October last year not to declare a state of emergency in the country.

In the court papers filed at the High Court yesterday, the government stated that the lawsuit by Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar was disgraceful, vexatious, frivolous and an abuse of court process.

The government also stated that the issue raised was academic because on Jan 12 this year, the King had consented to make a Proclamation of Emergency nationwide until Aug 1 to contain the spread of Covid-19.

In his suit filed on Oct 30, Syed Iskandar posed two legal questions of constitutional and public importance, including whether the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has “unfettered discretion” not to declare an emergency despite advice from the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.

The supporting affidavit for the government’s striking out application stated that Syed Iskandar had failed to specify public or

personal interest of his that was contravened or personal damages he suffered when the King declined to make a Proclamation of Emergency.

The affidavit, which was signed by Solicitor-General Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, also said Syed Iskandar failed to specify his legal interests in the matter, issues between him and the defendant (government) as well as his constitutional right that had been affected.

Razak also contended that the determination by the court on the issues raised in Syed Iskandar’s lawsuit was an academic exercise.

On Oct 25, the King did not accede to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s request for a Proclamation of Emergency but the status quo had changed since Jan 12.

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