KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has dismissed a judicial review application filed by a former army sergeant who was sacked for refusing an order to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.
Justice Ahmad Kamal Shahid said there was no illegality or procedural impropriety on the part of the army when terminating the services of Wan Ramli Wan Seman.
“There was also no breach of (his) fundamental rights,” Kamal said in an oral ruling delivered online today.
The judge said the right to employment is not absolute and that an employer is entitled to place restrictions on it.
“The decision made against Wan Ramli is the result of his (refusal) to adhere to the vaccination order,” he said, adding that the army’s order was “reasonably balanced”.
Wan Ramli, who was with the 24th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment in Rasah, Negeri Sembilan, filed for a judicial review of his dismissal in August last year.
He said he was due to be discharged on Jan 20 this year, but lost his constitutional right to a pension after he was dishonourably discharged from service.
He named his commanding officer, two other officers, the armed forces and the government as respondents.
Yasmeen Soh Sha-Nisse, who represented Wan Ramli, had argued that her client’s discharge was unreasonable as he was not given the right to be heard.
She said his request for a court-martial was refused by his immediate superior, Lt Col Sharull Hesham Yasin.
Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir told the court that Wan Ramli had been charged with four military offences.
These comprised disobeying orders which required him to be vaccinated, using threatening or insubordinate language at a superior officer, disobeying a standing order, and conducting himself in breach of good order and service discipline.
Hanir submitted that Sharull had the right to deal with the charges summarily.
He contended that Wan Ramli had not been denied the right to be heard as the summary proceedings heard the testimony of six witnesses, with Wan Ramli also given the opportunity to defend himself.
Yasmeen said Wan Ramli will file an appeal to the Court of Appeal.