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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Court dismisses bid to strike out suit against Melaka speaker and deputy


Former speaker Omar Jaafar (right) and his deputy Wong Fort Pin claim that the appointment of their successors was ultra vires the constitution. (Bernama pic)

MELAKA: The former Melaka state speaker and his deputy from Pakatan Harapan will get their day in court to hear their suit against the duo from Perikatan Nasional holding these positions currently.

This follows the dismissal of a bid by the current speaker, Ab Rauf Yusoh, and his deputy, Ghazale Muhammad, from PN, to strike out the suit filed by their predecessors in challenging their appointments.

Former speaker Omar Jaafar and his deputy, Wong Fort Pin, had claimed that the appointment of the duo after the PH state government fell was ultra vires the Melaka constitution.

Judge Anselm Charles Fernandis made this ruling yesterday in an online decision, saying this was not an obvious case to be struck out.

When contacted, Wong’s lawyer Ng Kong Peng, in confirming the decision, said they had submitted that there are two “conflicting” provisions in the assembly standing orders on the speaker’s powers to adjourn an assembly meeting.

Rauf and Ghazale, in their striking-out bid, contended that any proceedings in the assembly or the Dewan Rakyat could not be questioned in court, as stipulated under Article 72(1) of the Federal Constitution.

They contended that Omar and Wong should have named the state assembly and its secretary in the suit and not them.

In their claims, Omar and Wong said the state assembly was initially suspended on May 11, 2020 after Sungai Udang assemblyman Idris Harun caused chaos on that day.

The duo said PN called for a meeting 30 minutes later but the PH assemblymen were not notified about it.

They alleged the second meeting called by Rauf was invalid, adding that he was appointed as assembly speaker following a vote without any opposition member present.

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

Ng said the court fixed Feb 16 for case management.

Besides Ng, Omar and Wong were represented by J Amardas. Hafarizam Harun appeared for Rauf and Ghazale. - FMT

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