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MP’s judicial review case: Judgment reserved

 | September 21, 2011

The Court of Appeal postpones judgment on Sungai Siput MP Michael D Jeyakumar's application for a judicial review on special constituency allocations.

PETALING JAYA: The Court of Appeal today reserved judgment on the AG’s appeal against a ruling that allowed leave for a judicial review of Dr Michael Jeyakumar’s special constituency allocation application.

The Sungai Siput MP filed a suit after his application for funds to be used as contributions to several schools and orphanage, as well as funds for small projects to benefit Orang Asli villages, was rejected by the Perak development office director on Oct 12 last year.

He named the director-general of the implementation coordination unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, the Perak development office director and the government, as respondents.

On Feb 25 this year, Jeyakumar was granted leave by the High Court to hear his case that the special constituency allocation should be made available to all members of parliament equally.

The AG Chambers appealed this decision. The matter was heard today by Court of Appeal judges Low Hop Bing, Abdul Wahab Patail and Anantham Kasinathar.

Jeyakumar was represented by S Ambiga and the respondents by senior federal counsel Suzana Atan.

Jeyakumar said that the AG was appealing on two grounds.

“They are arguing that the government agencies have the prerogative to approve allocations and the court cannot intervene with this authority. Thus, the court has no right to look into the matter.

“Second, they are arguing that I personally did not suffer damages from the non-allocations. In order to file a judicial review, the person would have to be directly affected by the government’s decision,” said Jeyakumar.

‘Judges need time to review submissions’

His contention, however, is that the the case was in the public’s interest and that the AG was not not playing his role in safeguarding the people’s interest.

“The AG is suppose to side with the people. But through this appeal they seem to be coming through for the executives.  It is disappointing as it is an abuse of the judicial process”.

Asked if he was hopeful that the appeal will come through in his favour, he said that he was “hoping to get his day in court to argue for the country”.

B Mahaletchumi, another counsel for Jeyakumar, said that the decision was reserved today most probably because the judges need time to read through all the documents made during submissions.

In his application, Jeyakumar is seeking, among others, a declaration that the special constituency allocation must be provided to all MPs equally, in accordance with Article 8 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

He is also applying for an order of mandamus to compel the respondents to explain their authority in disbursing funds from the Special Constituency Allocation and to specify the procedure for allocation of such funds since 2008.


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