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AGC opposes Bersatu's bid to vacate 4 Sabah parliamentary seats

It says that the decision is not amenable to judicial review by virtue of Article 63 of the Federal Constitution.

2 minute read
The Bersatu office in Selangor.
The Bersatu office in Selangor.

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has objected to Bersatu's application for leave to initiate a judicial review against Dewan Rakyat speaker Johari Abdul and four members of parliament from Sabah.

Bersatu had filed a legal action for Johari to declare vacant the seats held by the four MPs.

Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly, representing the AGC, told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that Bersatu's application should be refused as the decision is not amenable to judicial review by virtue of Article 63 of the Federal Constitution.

"The anti-hopping law as stated in Article 49 of the Federal Constitution is not amenable to a judicial review due to Article 63 of the constitution," he said in his submission before judge Amarjeet Singh.

Article 63 states that the validity of any proceedings in either the House of Parliament or any committee thereof shall not be questioned in any court.

The application for the judicial review was filed by Bersatu vice president Ronald Kiandee and Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya as public officers of the party on April 17.

Bersatu named Johari and MPs Armizan Mohd Ali (Papar), Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan (Batu Sapi), Jonathan Yasin (Ranau), and Matbali Musah (Sipitang) as the first to fifth respondents.

Meanwhile, lawyer Azhar Azizan Harun, appearing for Kiandee and Suhaimi, submitted that the judicial review application should be heard as it is not frivolous and vexatious.

"The speaker has exceeded his jurisdiction, as he has no power to interpret the constitution of Bersatu or to make a determination of when the membership of the second to fifth respondents in Bersatu ceased.

"The determination of the speaker is irrational and unlawful as it misinterprets the provisions of the constitution of Bersatu and is accordingly an error of law," said the former Dewan Rakyat speaker.

Judge Amarjeet said he would deliver his decision on Nov 16.

In the application, Bersatu is seeking an order to revoke a decision made by Johari through a letter dated Jan 16, which stated that the second to fifth respondents had clarified and confirmed that there was no vacant parliamentary seat based on the interpretation of the constitution of GRS and Bersatu.

Bersatu is also seeking a declaration that the four MPs have ceased to be members of the Dewan Rakyat in accordance with Article 49A of the Federal Constitution, as well as an order for Johari to confirm the four seats as vacant.