Friday 01 Mar 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): Former Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin will represent caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Election Commission (EC), and the Government in incumbent Member of Parliament for Klang Charles Santiago's suit to stop the 15th general election (GE15).

Zulkefli, 71, was called to the Bar in March last year, after an illustrious career on the bench.

Zulkefli is the counsel for Ismail Sabri, the EC and the caretaker Government. All three respondents are being represented by law firm Messrs Hafarizam, Wan & Aisha Mubarak, which has been granted a fiat to appear on behalf of them.

Charles, who has filed an originating summons (OS), is seeking a court order to stop the EC from holding the GE15 this year. 

He wants the court to issue a declaration that Ismail Sabri’s request to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the dissolution of Parliament was against Article 40(1) and (1A) of the Federal Constitution, as it was not made on the advice of the Cabinet.

Hence, the request for the dissolution of Parliament should be considered null and void.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri, the EC and the Government have applied to strike out the OS, arguing that there is no feasible cause of action in Charles’ legal bid, as the powers of the King to dissolve the legislature are non-justiciable and could not be challenged in the court. 

They also asserted that the King had the prerogative to dissolve Parliament under Article 40(2)(b) and Article 55(2) of the Constitution, and as such, the Ruler had the discretion of dissolving the legislature without obtaining the advice of the Cabinet.

The applicants also argued that the question of legitimacy with regard to the dissolution of Parliament is academic, as the King had already accepted Ismail Sabri’s request under Article 40(2)(b) and Article 55(2).

They stressed that the declaration of the dissolution of Parliament was within the powers of the King, as enshrined in the Constitution, and the Judiciary must preserve the constitutional principles.

Zulkefli is appearing with Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, while Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Surendra Ananth are appearing for Charles.

At present, judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid has concluded the hearing of a judicial review application by lawyer Dr Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar versus Ismail Sabri, the Government and the EC.

For more GE15 stories, click here.

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