A legal action to challenge the legality and constitutionality of the convening of Parliament on Monday will become the constitutional case of the millennium as it will affect the legality of all the bills and businesses by the new tenth Parliament, not only in the current four-day meeting, but for all future meetings as well as the legality of the Ministers and MPs arising from the unlawful oath-taking three days ago.
Clearly, all laws passed by the new tenth Parliament convened not in accordance with the Constitution are null and void, and every law enacted by this Parliament for the duration of its term for the next four to five years is open to challenge as to its legality!
I regret that the the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, has up to now declined to respond to DAP calls that he explain why he allowed the Barisan Nasional government to plunge the country into such a constitutional chasm placing at risk the legality of all laws and motions passed by the tenth Parliament as well as the legality of the Ministers and MPs.
As the constitutional case of the millennium challenging the legality and constitutionality of the convening of the tenth Parliament on Monday (20th December 1999) would have the most far-reaching implications and repercussions in any single legal action in the nationís history, DAP will approach this subject with unprecedented caution and deliberation.
Apart from the DAP legal committee headed by Karpal Singh to study it, I will begin the widest possible consultation on the constitutional case of the millennium, starting with two former Lord Presidents, Tun Suffian and Tun Salleh Abas, early next year.
Tun Suffian had previously written that "a man does not become a dictator suddenly in one day" and that "gradually the executive in Malaysia has over the years step by awful step succeeded in dismantling the checks and balances written into the Constitution by the countryís liberal founding fathers, and gathered virtually unlimited power into its own hands". He had lamented at the process of "a working democracy slowly but surely sliding into a dictatorship".
Tun Salleh Abas, referring to "the long process of conflict between the supremacy of law and the demands for absolute power by the executive in Malaysia", said the conflict "has resulted in the executive now occupying the pinnacle of power, making everything else subservient to it".
But the two former Lord Presidents had written well before the statutory rape of the Constitution immediately after the 1999 general election, when Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad showed utter contempt for the Constitution, Parliament and the Yang di Pertuan Agong by insisting that a caretaker Prime Minister has the power to usurp the powers of the yet-to-be-formed Cabinet to advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong to summon the first meeting of the new tenth Parliament, which was in further disregard of Parliamentary standing orders.
Apart from the two former Lord Presidents, I propose to consult former judges, legal jurists and academicians, senior lawyers, former Presidents of the Bar Council and constitutional experts in the other Commonwealth countries. I will also consult with other political parties in the Barisan Alternative as well as NGOs.