Meradong rep takes Meradong/Julau District Council to court
Posted on July 19, 2012, Thursday
SIBU: Meradong assemblywoman Ting Tze Hui has taken the Meradong/Julau District Council to court over its decision to forbid opposition representatives to attend its full council meetings.
Her counsel, Richard Wong Ho Leng, said he had filed a summons in chamber with the High Court here on July 16, asking for leave to commence proceedings against the council, listing Ting as the applicant and the council as the respondent.
“The leave application will be heard ex parte by the Sibu High Court on July 30,” he told a press conference here yesterday morning. Among those present were Ting, Sibu DAP women’s chief Alice Lau and Wong’s special assistant Paul Ling.
Ting has applied for leave under the Rules of High Court, 1980 for an Order of Certiorari to remove into the High Court for the purpose of its being quashed the resolution passed by the respondent during its meeting held on Feb 24, 2012 forbidding representatives from opposition parties to attend any full council meeting in accordance with Section 26(6) of the Local Authorities Ordinance, 1996.
The decision was communicated to Ting by letters dated June 8, 2012 and July 10, 2012.
Wong, who is Sibu MP and Bukit Assek assemblyman, said Ting also applied for leave to commence proceedings for an Order of Mandamus directed at the respondent requiring them to let the applicant attend full council meetings of the respondent without hindrance pursuant to Section 21(6) of the Local Authorities Ordinance, 1996.
In her application, Ting had cited seven grounds to support her cause. Among others, Ting said there was no Section 26(6) on the Local Authorities Ordinance, 1996 which empowered the respondent to pass the resolution to forbid the applicant from attending the full council meetings of the respondent.
She said the resolution was unlawful, repugnant and contrary to Section 21(6) of the Local Authorities Ordinance, 1996 which stated that all full council meetings must be open to the public and media. Ting said the resolution was also passed by the council without having granted the applicant an opportunity to be heard or make representation.
“The resolution was scandalous, irrational and unreasonable, especially when it was directed against representatives from opposition parties,” she said.
Ting said the council had also abused its power and had taken into account irrelevancy in passing the resolution.The resolution militates against the object of the Local Authorities Ordinance, 1996, in particular, Section 21(6) therefore, which encourages rather than stifles transparency and accountability in the respondent’s full council meetings,” she said.
In her Affidavit in Support, Ting said on June 22, 2012, she appeared at the full council meeting of the respondent and was forbidden to attend by the respondent who also passed a resolution on the spot to forbid her from attending the full council meetings for the remaining of the year. Ting claimed she was not even accorded an opportunity to respond before she was asked to remove herself. Ting claimed that she had the right to attend the full council meetings.
She said the resolution to deny public attendance at the full council meetings under Section 21(6) could not be made willy-nilly or on fanciful and scandalous grounds.