Agong's decision can't be challenged in court

IPOH: The decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah not to declare a state of emergency in the country cannot be challenged in any court.

Constitutional law expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bakri said the declaration of emergency is the prerogative of the King where his decision is conclusive and shall not be challenged or called in question in any court on any grounds.

"Under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, it is the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. If the Agong decides to say no (to a call for an emergency to be declared) then no one can challenge that.

"It happened before in 1966 where the former Sarawak Chief Minister Stephen Kalong Ningkan had challenged the Agong's decision to call for emergency in the state, saying that the proclamation was in fraudem legis (claiming it was made for the purpose of removing him from his lawful position as the Sarawak chief minister).

"It was rejected by the court which said that the satisfaction of the Agong is the sole criteria. This means that the prime minister only acts as an adviser. So the Agong has the right to say yes or no," said Aziz, who is also the Perak opposition leader.

He said the then prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, pushed through Parliament the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1983 to amend Article 150(1) but it elicited strong opposition from the Conference of Rulers and was consequently repealed in 1984.

"The law stands as it has since Independence Day until now. It is the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and no one can challenge that.

"What is the point of having discussions among Cabinet members? Don't waste our time. Just do your job to handle this Covid-19 problem, don't talk about the Agong's decision. No is no, full stop," he said.

Yesterday, Yang di-Pertuan Agong in a statement issued by Istana Negara, said he was of the opinion that there was no need to declare a state of Emergency in the whole country or any parts of the country.

Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is of the view that the government had managed the Covid-19 pandemic, which has entered the third wave in several parts of the country, well and effectively.

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