Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four others have joined the growing number of parties seeking to intervene in a suit over the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's decision to refuse the emergency proclamation last year.
The five including Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir, Kubang Pasu MP Amiruddin Hamzah, Sri Gading MP Shahruddin Md Salleh and senator Marzuki Yahya filed the intervener application on Jan 12.
The former Bersatu members filed the legal bid through law firm Messrs Law Practice of Rafique.
This is in relation to a suit by lawyer Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar, who is seeking the court's guidance over the constitutional issue linked to the Agong's earlier decision not to abide by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's request for an emergency proclamation.
On Oct 25, it was reported that the Agong decided not to accede to Muhyiddin's request on the declared reason that the current Perikatan Nasional government was handling the Covid-19 pandemic effectively.
It should be noted that on Jan 12 this year, His Majesty agreed to Muhyiddin's advice for a proclamation of emergency to tackle the pandemic.
The five's intervener bid joins a growing list of lawyers among others who are also seeking to intervene in the lawsuit.
The others seeking to intervene are the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia (PPMM), lawyers Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz, Malcolm Fernandez and Nazira Abdul Rahim as well as non-governmental organisation (NGO) the Centre for a Better Tomorrow.
According to a copy of the intervenor application, the five claimed they should be included in the suit because of their constitutional rights to safeguard, protect and uphold the Federal Constitution.
Mahathir and the four claimed they would be affected by any court decision in the suit because of their constitutional rights to debate and vote in the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara on any enactment and amendment to laws as well as to air the voice of the people in these sessions.
"The proposed intervenors, as members of Parliament, have the constitutional right to give testimony and raise submission to help this honourable court to make the proper legal finding over the originating summons (filed by Syed Iskandar).
"The proposed intervenors, as members of Parliament, have the legal duty to safeguard, protect, and uphold the sovereignty of the Federal Constitution from being contravened by any quarters," the application read.
Plaintiff to object
Meanwhile, Syed Iskandar said he would be objecting the intervenor bid by Mahathir and the four former Bersatu members.
"I have instructed my lawyer to object. I issued the instruction last night," he told Malaysiakini.
He claiming that the latest intervenor bid is not supported by any valid grounds.
It was previously reported that he would be objecting the other intervenor applications as well on grounds that they do not have any legal interest in the matter.
Through the suit, Syed Iskandar is seeking for the court to determine, among others, whether the Agong "has an unfettered discretion not to declare an emergency despite the advice of the prime minister of the federal cabinet to the contrary".
The plaintiff also wants the court to determine this through the true construction of Articles 40 and 150 of the Federal Constitution.
Article 40 generally deals with the need for the monarch to act in accordance with the advice of the cabinet or of a minister acting under the general authority of the cabinet, among others.
"This is a public interest litigation brought to vindicate the rule of law and to uphold the Federal Constitution," the plaintiff stated in the suit.
Article 150 deals with the power of the Agong to issue a proclamation of emergency when there is a situation where the security, economic life or public order in the federation, or any part thereof, is threatened, among others.
The plaintiff is also seeking for the court to determine the validity of an amendment to Article 150, which inserted clauses, among others, that bar the court from hearing legal actions in relation to the issue of a proclamation of emergency.
Among the amendments is the insertion of Article 150(8), which states that no court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or determine any application, question, or proceeding, in whatever form, on any ground, regarding the validity of the proclamation of emergency.