Friday, 29 November 2013

Malaysia: Federal Court Dismisses Ex-USM Student's Application For Leave To Appeal (University and Political Rights)

Source: BERNAMA (National News Agency of Malaysia)

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 28 (Bernama) -- It's the end of the road for a former Universiti Sains Malaysia student to pursue her legal challenge on the constitutionality of a section in the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA), in a bid to clear her school record of disciplinary misconduct.

This is because Soh Sook Hwa, 31, Thursday failed in her attempt to obtain leave from the Federal Court here to appeal against the decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal which were not in her favour.

Soh, a former communications student, was given a reprimand and fined RM200 by the university's disciplinary board who found her guilty on Dec 2, 2004 of breaching the UUCA for allegedly campaigning for Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) during the 2004 general election.

A five-member Federal Court panel chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum unanimously rejected her application to be given the nod to appeal.

In his decision, Malanjum said leave could not be granted to Soh to appeal as she failed to satisfy the threshold requirement of Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

Also presiding on the panel were Federal Court judges Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari and Datuk Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.

Soh, currently a personal assistant to Sungai Siput Member of Parliament Dr Michael Jeyakumar, filed a judicial review application on Aug 16, 2005 to challenge Section 15 of the UUCA which bars students from being affiliated with political parties and associations.

She also sought for a mandamus order to quash the higher education minister's decision in disallowing her appeal to set aside the university's disciplinary board's decision to reprimand and fine her.

She named the higher education minister as respondent in her judicial review application.

On June 4, 2010, the high court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed Soh's judicial review application after ruling that she did not have grounds to challenge Section 15 of the act as it had since been amended in 2009.

Soh lost her appeal at the Court of Appeal on April 19, this year which ruled that her appeal was academic because Section 15 had been amended.

Section 15 was subsequently, repealed last year and replaced with a new Section 15.

Soh graduated in 2005 and is currently the deputy treasurer of Parti Sosialis Malaysia.

She was represented by lawyer Ang Hean Leng while Senior Federal Counsel Noor Hisham Ismail acted for the minister.

No comments: