King’s Emergency proclamation cannot be challenged in court


KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s proclamation of an Emergency and the ordinances enacted under the emergency law cannot be challenged in court, the High Court has ruled.

High Court judge Justice Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid said this was due to the validity of Article 150(8) of the Federal Constitution, which states that the proclamation by the King could not be challenged or called into question in any court.

“More importantly, Article 150(8) has shut the court’s doors from any challenge or application made against the proclamation and the ordinances enacted, ” he said in making the decision yesterday.

The judge was delivering his judgment on an application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings by three Opposition lawmakers who sought to challenge the advice from Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to suspend Parliament and state assembly sittings during an Emergency.

The three are Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (Amanah-Pulai MP), Datuk Johari Abdul (PKR-Sungai Petani MP) and Abdul Aziz Bari (DAP-Tebing Tinggi assemblyman in Perak).

Apart from the main issue of leave, also raised before the court was the question of whether the amenability of the King’s proclamation would be decided at the leave stage or after leave was given.

“I am of the view that the issue can be decided at the leave stage, ” said Justice Ahmad Kamal.

On the leave application, he said the applicants had failed to cross the hurdle of the judicial review test.“As discussed, the subject matter in this case has been settled by law.

“It is clear that there is no arguable case for the applicants.

“Therefore, this application for leave is frivolous, ” he added.

He dismissed the application for leave with no order as to costs.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan and S. Narkunavathy appeared for the respondents while lawyers Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar and Christopher Leong represented the applicants.

On Jan 26, the Opposition lawmakers filed the leave application seeking several reliefs from the court over the proclamation of Emergency.They named the Prime Minister and the government as respondents.

On Feb 11, the Attorney General’s Chambers filed an objection to the application on the grounds that the applicants did not have a case that could be argued to enable the court to grant permission for the judicial review.

The Emergency proclamation was announced by Istana Negara on Jan 12.

The King had consented to the Proclamation of Emergency to be implemented nationwide until Aug 1, as a proactive measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

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