Jan 20 decision on whether Penang anti-hopping law can be applied on four reps


GEORGE TOWN: The High Court here today set Jan 20 to decide whether Article 14A of the Penang State Constitution on anti-hopping can be validly applied to four assemblymen or vice versa.

Judicial commissioner Azizan Md Arshad fixed the date after hearing the arguments of lawyer Chetan Jethwani who represented all four assemblymen, and lawyer Surendra Ananth, representing the Penang state assembly and its speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang.

Azizan also ordered both parties to be present in court on that day.

Chetan, in his argument, said Article 14A of the Penang Constitution is invalid because it is inconsistent with Article 10 (1) (c) of the Federal Constitution.

“Two of my clients were dismissed from the party and the other two are still in the party, so Article 14A of the Penang State Constitution should not apply,” he said.

He said during the 14th general election in 2018, Pakatan Harapan (PH) represented by the four assemblymen was also not registered as a political party.

However, Surendra argued that the Federal Court had decided that the state assembly was entitled to enact laws to determine the qualification of its members.

“The Federal Court had also court ruled that Article 14A of the Penang state constitution was not void as it is consistent with Article 10 (1) (c) of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

Article 14A of the Penang state constitution states that a state assemblyman shall vacate his seat if, having been elected as a candidate of a political party, he resigns or is expelled from a party, or having been elected otherwise than as a candidate of a political party, he joins a political party.

On April 12 this year, Azizan allowed an application by the State Legislative Assembly and Law to refer questions to the Federal Court to hear and decide on the constitutionality of the state’s anti-hopping enactment.

Last Friday, Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dismissed the leave applications by the four Penang assemblymen to challenge the competency of the state legislative assembly to pass an anti-hopping law.

The four assemblymen — Zulkifli Ibrahim (Sungai Acheh), Afif Bahardin (Seberang Jaya), Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq (Bertam) and Zolkifly Md Lazim (Telok Bahang) — had filed three writs of summons in 2020 against the State Legislative Assembly and its speaker to challenge a motion introduced in October 2020 for the four to vacate their seats and for by-elections to be held.-Bernama



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *