Decision on Azhar, Azalina’s bid to strike out Dr Mahathir’s suit on Jan 18

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

THE High Court here today set Jan 18 next year to decide on the application by Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (picture; left), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (right)  and two others to strike out an originating summons filed by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four others to challenge the legitimacy of the appointments of Azhar and Azalina as Dewan Rakyat Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

The two others who filed the application were Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon and Dewan Rakyat Secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin.

Lawyer Syazwani Mohd Zawawi representing  Azalina and Nizam Mydin, when contacted, said the decision was initially set for today but was postponed to a new date following the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order.

“We were informed by the court that the new date for the decision will be on Jan 18, 2021, at 9 am before Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid,” he said.

Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad representing Azhar and Mohd Rashid confirmed the date.

On July 23, Dr Mahathir, his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz, who is former Menteri Besar of Kedah, together with former Minister of Education Dr Maszlee Malik, Kubang Pasu MP Datuk Wira Amiruddin Hamzah and Sri Gading MP Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh, filed a legal action to challenge the legitimacy of the appointments of Azhar and Azalina.

In their originating summons, the five plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s post has been vacant since July 13 and that the appointments of Azhar and Azalina are invalid because it is unconstitutional and/or it is contrary to the Federal Constitution and/or Standing Orders 3,4, 6 and 47 of the Dewan Rakyat and/or the rule of law.

The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that during the 14-day period for each member to nominate the candidates for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker’s posts begins from the date the motion to vacate the posts of Speaker and/or Deputy Speaker was passed.

They are also seeking an order for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker if the posts were vacated during a sitting, to undergo the process of nomination, debate and voting by an adequate number of MPs to make it a valid appointment process.

Among the reasons given by the plaintiffs in their summons is that the action of the third defendant (Mohd Rashid) who made the ruling after informing that there was only one candidate for the Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s post is invalid as no chance was given by Mohd Rashid and the fourth defendant (Nizam Mydin) to all MPs to nominate and/or debate or vote for the purpose of appointing the new Speaker within 14 days before the sitting can proceed.

The plaintiffs also claimed that the action of the fourth defendant to proclaim and call Azhar and Azalina to take the place of Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively is contrary to the Federal Constitution and/or Standing Order of the Dewan Rakyat, as well as invalid.