Court asked to ‘Kill the Bill’

Three PAS leaders, in a test case, are attempting to stop the Peaceful Assembly Bill from being passed as law.

(Free Malaysia Today) – The opposition, having staged a walkout when the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 was debated in Parliament, has now gone to the courts in an attempt to stop the controversial bill from being passed as law.

Although the bill has been cleared in the Dewan Rakyat, several PAS leaders are now asking the High Court to declare the law “unconstitutional” and issue a court order to prohibit the bill from being at the Dewan Negara stage.

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, who filed the suit on Dec 2 together with party treasurer Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli and central committee member Dzulkefly Ahmad, also wants the court to order the government to withdraw the law or amend the bill so that it conforms to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantees freedom to assemble.

“This is the first time we are trying to ask the court to interfere. We’ve had precedents in England and Bahamas where the court had asked the government to amend its laws. We hope the judge will allow us our request for a judicial review,” said Mohamad Sabu.

Mohamad Sabu, or better known as Mat Sabu, said the three leaders represented the Pakatan Rakyat coalition in filing the test case.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) today was to have heard the application for leave (permission) for a judicial review but has postponed the case as government lawyers were not ready.

Judge Rohana Yusof this morning rescheduled hearing on Dec 15.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the Malaysian government are named as the respondents in the suit.

Order of mandamus

Mat Sabu and two others are seeking a declaration that the respondents had exceeded or abused their powers when they introduced the Peaceful Assembly Bill in Parliament, despite the law contravening Article 10(1)(b) and 10(2)(b) of the Federal Constitution.

They are also seeking a order of prohibition to prevent the bill from becoming law and an order of mandamus to compel the respondents to take appropriate steps to either withdraw or make necessary amendments so that it will be in line with the Federal Constitution.