Monday, December 6, 2021

Former CM Adly Zahari fails in bid for leave to stop Melaka polls

The court rules that the move to dissolve the state assembly on Oct 4 was non-justiciable.

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Former Melaka chief minister Adly Zahari today failed in his bid to obtain leave from the High Court to stop the Melaka state election scheduled for Nov 20.

The former Bukit Katil assemblyman, in his application for leave to initiate a judicial review, had also sought a declaration that the dissolution of the 14th Melaka state assembly on Oct 4 was null and void.

Judge Noorin Badaruddin, in dismissing Adly’s leave application, ruled that the decision by Melaka Governor Mohd Ali Rustam to dissolve the state assembly was non-justiciable.

Noorin in her brief judgment said that Article 7 (4) of the Melaka state constitution allows Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali, after no longer having the confidence of the majority of the assemblymen, to make a request to the Yang Dipertua Negeri for the dissolution of the state assembly.

“Following the request of the first respondent (Sulaiman), the fourth respondent (Ali) had considered and assented to the dissolution of the 14th Melaka state assembly with effect from Oct 4, as he is empowered to do so pursuant to Article 19 (2) of the state constitution.

“It is the finding of this court that there was never a question of advice given by the first respondent to the fourth respondent to dissolve the state assembly in the first place. There was just a request and based on the request, the fourth respondent can take the steps pursuant to Article 7 (4) of the constitution where such request was assented to.

“The fourth respondent had rightly exercised his power under Article 19 (2) of the constitution. This is the process that the fourth respondent had taken,” said Noorin.

The judge further said that the dissolution of the state assembly was non-justiciable and consequently not amenable for judicial review.

“The subject matter has been settled. There is no merit for further argument and this application is dismissed with no order as to costs,” she added.

Adly, 50, filed the application naming Sulaiman, Melaka state assembly speaker Ab Rauf Yusoh, the Election Commission (EC) and Ali as the first, second, third and fourth respondents, respectively.

He had sought a declaration that the Sulaiman’s action in advising Ali on Oct 4 to dissolve the state assembly after no longer having the confidence of the majority of the assemblymen was illegal and therefore null and void.

He had also sought a declaration that it was unreasonable and irrational for Sulaiman to advise Ali to dissolve the state assembly in the circumstances of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic or its endemic phase in the country.

Adly also sought a certiorari order for the EC’s writ of election dated Oct 18 for the state election to be quashed, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Counsel Razlan Hadri Zulkifli, representing Adly, told reporters that he would take instructions from his client on the next course of action.

Senior federal counsel S Narkunavathy and Ahmad Hanir Hambaly acted for the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

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