Klang MP Charles Santiago speaks during a press conference at the Armada Hotel in Petaling Jaya August 17, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — Incumbent Klang MP Charles Santiago is seeking a court order to stop the 15th general election from being held this year, even though Parliament has been dissolved.
He explained that he was taking the court route to prevent another possible disaster from happening, recalling that Klang was one of the worst-hit places during the December 2021 monsoonal floods.
“I have filed an injunction to stop the elections due to the upcoming rainy season and floods,” the DAP politician posted on his Facebook today.
Lawyer Surendra Ananth, who is representing Charles, told Malay Mail that the suit was filed yesterday at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, adding that hearing has been set for October 20.
Based on court documents sighted by Malay Mail, Charles is seeking several declarations from the court.
Among them is for the court to declare that then prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s request to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament last Monday, is unconstitutional.
He named Ismail Sabri, the Malaysian government and the Election Commission (EC) as respondents.
“I want to categorically state that I am not challenging the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, but only the advice given to him by the Prime Minister Ismail Sabri,” he said in a subsequent statement posted on his social media platforms this afternoon.
Malaysia experienced one of its worst floods in decades during the monsoon season last December resulting in dozens of deaths and tens of thousands displaced. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Charles said there was one very important question that determined if Ismail Sabri had the right to provide advice to the King — whether the Umno vice-president had the majority support of Parliament and Cabinet when he sought an audience with His Majesty.
“The answer is a resounding ‘no’ and here are the reasons,” he said.
He claimed that Umno’s support for the dissolution of Parliament accounts for only 17 per cent of MPs, contrasting it to objections made publicly by other MPs from the co-ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalitions.
He also cited a statement from caretaker youth and sports minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu that Ismail Sabri did not inform the Cabinet about the dissolution prior to announcing it.
“Assuming that all the PH and PN MPs oppose the dissolution, this would amount to 135 lawmakers: a clear majority,” he said.
“Given the above reasons, I firmly believe that Ismail Sabri’s advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is void. As a consequence I also believe that the dissolution of Parliament is of no legal effect,” Charles added.
Further to that, he said that repeated letters written to the EC were not acknowledged or answered, leaving him with “no choice” but to resort to legal action to defer the polls.
Malaysia experienced one of its worst floods in decades during the monsoon season last December resulting in dozens of deaths and tens of thousands displaced.
Government figures provided in January estimated the December 2021 floods the losses at between RM5.3 billion and RM6.5 billion.