Activists, lawmaker, question constitutionality of PAA

Sim-Tze-TzinKUALA LUMPUR: Three activists and a lawmaker have been allowed to challenge the constitutionality of charges they face under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA).

Maria Chin Abdullah, Mandeep Singh, Fariz Musa and Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin have been allowed by Judicial Commissioner Nordin Hassan to take three questions on the PAA to the apex court. The decision is based on a recent ruling by the Federal Court that only it can determine constitutionality.

“I will refer three questions to the Federal Court and frame them by way of a special case,” said JC Nordin Hassan.

The four have posed three questions to the Federal Court.

The first question was whether Sections 4(1)(c) and 4(2)(1) of the PAA are ultra vires Article 10 of the Federal Constitution read with Article 8.

Secondly, whether the meaning of “assembly” read along with the definition of “street protest” under Section 3 of PAA will raise a legal anomaly.

Thirdly, whether the legal anamoly will effect Sections 4(1)(c) and 4(2)(1) to violate Articles 5, 8, and 10, and if the said sections are against Article 10(1)(b), whether they are null and void under Article 4(1).

Chin, Mandeep, Fariz and Sim were charged for allegedly participating in the #KitaLawan rally on March 28 last year in Kuala Lumpur.

JC Nordin also allowed Fariz and another activist Adam Adli on Monday to question the constitutionality of charges they face under the PAA.

Last month, the High Court in Kuching allowed Chong Chieng Jen and Julian Tan, Bandar Kuching and Stampin MPs, to challenge the legality of the PAA.

They were charged with allegedly participating in the Bersih 4 rally in Kuching last year.