Ex-PH Melaka speaker, deputy challenge appointment of successors

Former Melaka speaker Omar Jaafar (right) and his deputy Wong Fort Pin want the High Court to reinstate them to their earlier positions. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The former Melaka speaker and his deputy filed a lawsuit at the Melaka High Court today to nullify the appointment of state Umno chief Ab Rauf Yusoh as the speaker under the Perikatan Nasional government.

Omar Jaafar and his then deputy, Wong Fort Pin, also sought to nullify the appointment of deputy speaker Ghazale Muhammad.

Omar and Wong sought a court order to reinstate them to their earlier positions.

They claimed that the appointment of Rauf and Ghazale was ultra vires the Melaka state constitution.

“The (state assembly) meeting initially was suspended after Sungai Udang assemblyman Idris Harun caused a chaos in the assembly by claiming I was not qualified to be the speaker as I did not enjoy the majority’s support,” Omar said in his affidavit sighted by FMT.

He said he called off the meeting because of the chaos, but the PN called another sitting 30 minutes later on May 11.

“The sitting was attended by assemblymen only from the government but Pakatan Harapan assemblymen were not notified about it,” Omar said.

Omar and Wong also alleged that the subsequent state assembly meeting called by Rauf was invalid.

It was reported that Rauf was appointed as Melaka speaker following a vote at which no opposition members were present.

Rauf’s appointment received the support of 16 of the 17 PN assemblymen present.

The lawsuit is the latest filed in court to challenge the proceedings in a state assembly.

Previously, former Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon from DAP filed a suit to challenge the Sarawak state assembly’s decision to disqualify him on grounds that he acquired an Australian citizenship before he stood in the 2016 state election.

The Federal Court ruled in favour of speaker Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and held that the state assembly had the power to disqualify Ting.

The court also said it could not inquire into matters in the state assembly as prescribed under the Sarawak state constitution and Federal Constitution.

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