Case management tomorrow on suit challenging legality of Dewan sitting

A lawyer and a social activist are seeking a declaration that the one-day Dewan Rakyat sitting tomorrow is unconstitutional.

KUALA LUMPUR: A legal challenge by a lawyer and social activist to seek a declaration that the one-day Dewan Rakyat sitting tomorrow is unconstitutional has been fixed for case management before a court registrar.

Lawyer T Gunaseelan said he was notified by email yesterday at noon that the matter would come up before Nur Fatimahtul Zuhra Khairuddin at 9am tomorrow.

“I will attend to the matter via the e-review method from my office,” said Gunaseelan, who is representing plaintiffs R Kengadharan and D Arumugam.

The lawyer said the case management had been scheduled quite speedily and noted that he had yet to serve the court-endorsed papers to the relevant parties.

“I will be serving the court papers as early as tomorrow,” he told FMT.

Kengadharan and Arumugam, who named Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusoff as defendants, said the notice issued to MPs on May 13 was against the Federal Constitution and Standing Orders of the house.

They also said it was public knowledge that the opposition intended to pass a motion of no confidence against the prime minister.

The proposal, put forth by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was accepted by the speaker last week.

However, Ariff later said that the sitting would see only the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the agenda. He said he was informed of the changes by Muhyiddin.

Kengadharan and Arumugam said cutting short the sitting tomorrow would prevent the tabling and debating of the motion.

“The meeting will be a ‘colourable exercise of power’ by the prime minister and his Cabinet,” they said in their affidavit in support.

Kengadharan and Arumugam further said the one-day sitting would not fulfil the requirements of Article 55 of the constitution as no other important matters would be discussed, as stated under Order 14(1).

They said Parliament must carry out its functions according to democratic principles, and Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara members must be allowed to voice their stand without any obstacles.

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