KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): Former Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan has filed a suit against Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, questioning the latter’s legitimacy in advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare a state of emergency in the country.
Claiming that Muhyiddin had lost the trust of the majority of the Members of Parliament (MPs), Khairuddin claimed Muhyiddin was not in the position to advise the King as the prime minister.
In the originating summons filed in the High Court, Khairuddin wants the court to decide whether the emergency declaration sought by Muhyiddin was done “in fraudem legis” (in fraud of the law) because the latter had given advice to the King after having allegedly lost the trust of the House to still be the prime minister.
He is also claiming that the Cabinet meeting chaired by Muhyiddin, when it was decided that he would advise the King on the state of emergency, was illegal and unconstitutional.
Khairuddin, a strong supporter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, also described the suspension of Parliament until Aug 1 (under the emergency proclamation) as unconstitutional and illegitimate.
“We are only questioning Muhyiddin’s legitimacy as the prime minister and whether he was in any position to advise Agong on the state of emergency,” Khairuddin’s lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali told theedgemarkets.com.
In a media statement, the ex-Umno leader said he filed the action to compel the court to decide whether the prime minister, who had allegedly lost majority support in Dewan Rakyat, had any "locus standi" to advise the King.
“A prime minister, who has lost the support of the majority of parliamentarians, should not have acted in such a way. This is at odds with our democracy,” he said.
A “bad precedent” like this should not be set in a democracy, he added.
On Jan 12, the King declared an emergency on the advice of the prime minister, which will last until Aug 1 or an earlier date depending on the Covid-19 situation in the country.
The move was questioned by many individuals and groups, with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim saying he was going to challenge the emergency proclamation in the court.
“I have announced our intention to appeal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to defend the Constitution and the rakyat’s rights. At the same time, our legal team has been instructed to prepare the application to challenge the prime minister and government’s decision,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.