KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional’s Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah, also known as Ratu Naga, is suing the government in a bid to have a provision under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) nullified.
She claims Section 9(5) of the Act, which requires organisers to inform authorities in advance of rallies they plan to hold, is unconstitutional.
The former Wanita PKR leader also said the suit, which she filed at the High Court here, was aimed at protecting herself from further police action.
Police previously summoned Syarul Ema for allegedly participating in the Selamatkan Malaysia rally on Sept 16.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru and marched to the Sogo shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on that day to protest the conditional discharge granted to deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in his corruption case.
Section 9(5) of the PAA was the subject of two prominent court cases heard by the Court of Appeal over the past nine years. The appellate court had, in 2014 and 2015, given contradictory rulings over the validity of the said section.
In 2014, the Court of Appeal held that Section 9(5) was unconstitutional and acquitted PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is the current natural resources, environment, and climate change minister.
Nik Nazmi was charged for failing to give a 10-day notice to police for the Black Out Rally held in May 2013 at Stadium Kelana Jaya in Selangor, shortly after the 13th general election (GE13).
A year later, another appeals court – in a panel presided by then chief justice Raus Sharif – upheld Section 9(5) in a case against R Yuneswaran who is the current Segamat MP.
It said Section 9(5)5 did not violate the Federal Constitution and fined Yuneswaran RM6,000 for organising the Blackout 505 rally, in Johor, in 2013.