Anwar files suit against Muhyiddin over Malaysia Parliament suspension during state of emergency

Mr Anwar Ibrahim (left) is seeking a court declaration that PM Muhyiddin Yassin (right) gave unlawful advice to the King to suspend Parliament. PHOTOS: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the government, seeking a court declaration that Tan Sri Muhyiddin gave unlawful advice to the King to suspend Parliament during the state of emergency.

"Among reliefs sought in that application is a declaration from court that the Prime Minister's advice to the King to suspend Parliament during the period of the Emergency proclaimed recently is against the law and the Federal Constitution," Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP Ramkarpal Singh, who is also the party's legal bureau chairman, said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 26).

Mr Ramkarpal, who is a lawyer, said that the application for leave for judicial review was filed on Monday by Datuk Seri Anwar at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

"It has to be stressed here that what is being challenged in that application is not the Emergency declaration, but the decision of the Prime Minister (through the Cabinet) to advise the King to approve rule 14 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 that suspends Parliament during the Emergency period. The prime minister's advice is said to be in contravention of the law," said Mr Ramkarpal, adding that he hoped to get an early date from the High Court for the application to be heard.

Malaysia on Jan 12 declared an emergency to battle the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed nearly 700 people in the country so far.

The Palace has said that King Abdullah Ahmad Shah assented to the government's request for an emergency order that will be effective up to Aug 1 or earlier should Covid-19 cases come under control.

On Sunday, Mr Anwar said the opposition was planning to challenge the emergency declaration in court. He described it as an "egregious abuse of power" and a move by Mr Muhyiddin's Perikatan Nasional government to cling onto power.

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