KUALA LUMPUR: Three young men detained under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) for suspected vehicle theft will be asking the court to compel the Cabinet to advise the King to revoke the 1969 law, in a test case to challenge the long-standing EO.

Muhamad Arif Abu Samah, 19, Mohamed Ramadan Mohamed Ali, 22, and Mohamed Rafe Mohamed Ali, 20, who spent almost two months in detention are now restricted to three different states.

On May 13, their solicitor, K. Shan­muga, wrote to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet requesting that they advise the King to revoke the 1969 Proclamation and EO.

When there was no reply, a second letter was sent yesterday restating the request but also gave notice of intention to seek judicial review of the restriction order on the detainees and for a mandamus order to compel Cabinet to advise the King to end the Emergency.

In the May 13 letter, Shanmuga argued that the Cabinet wanted to continue a state of emergency for convenience.

He quoted de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz who told the Dewan Rakyat on March 16 the 1969 Proclamation would be maintained because:

> Otherwise, laws made while the Proclamation is in effect will cease to be effective based on Article 150(7) of the Federal Constitution, causing difficulties in controlling crime and public order; and

> The King may need to enact new laws when Parliament is not in session to manage issues related to terrorism, as well as national security and public order which are not covered by current laws.

Shanmuga said the men contended that if the Government has bona fide intention of controlling crime, new and specific laws should be enacted instead of using old ones whose purposes have expired.

Edmund Bon, who is on the legal team, said the men had been detained on March 8 following a raid on their parents’ homes.

“They said they were punched and beaten with metal bars and wires while in custody and forced to sign blank documents.

“On March 18, they were detained under the EO for 60 days. That was the first time their parents were told of their whereabouts.”

Their family visited them on March 21, but they only met their lawyers on May 4, said Bon.

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