Soldier fired for Covid-19 vaccine refusal sues army, govt
Published on: Monday, September 27, 2021
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Wan Ramli Wan Seman says he exercised his constitutional right in electing not to be vaccinated. (Photo: Via FMT)
Kuala Lumpur: A former army sergeant who refused Covid-19 vaccination has filed a judicial review to quash the decision of the authorities to discharge him from service.

In his application filed at the High Court here today, Wan Ramli Wan Seman also wants a declaration that his early termination on Aug 4 is null and void and of no effect.

FMT had reported that the applicant, who was with the Royal Malay Regiment’s 24th battalion based in Rasah Camp in Negeri Sembilan, was given a discharge after 19 years of service.

He will also lose his pension, for which he would have qualified in another 16 months.

Wan Ramli, 39, named Lt-Kol Sharull Hesham Md Yasin, Lt Mohamad Azammunir Mohd Ashri, Armed Force chief Gen Zamrose Mohd Zain, the Armed Forces and the government as respondents.

In the affidavit in support of his action and sighted by FMT, Wan Ramli, who lives in Seremban, said he has no disciplinary record.

As a citizen and a member of the Armed Forces, Wan Ramli said his right under Articles 5(1) and 8(1) of the Federal Constitution had been violated.

Because of the dishonourable discharge from service, he said he had lost his right to pension under Article 147 which is a proprietary right protected by Article 13(1).

Wan Ramli was only scheduled to be discharged on Jan 20, 2023, but was terminated last month for four offences under the Armed Forces Act 1972.

The affidavit stated that Sharull is the commanding officer of the 24th battalion, while Azammunir is the officer who signed Wan Ramli’s discharge letter.

Both are under the supervision, control, direction and law and policy administration of the other three respondents.

On July 3, Wan Ramli received instructions from the company clerk to take the Covid-19 vaccination at the Pusat Perubatan Angkatan Tentera in Rasah Camp .

However, he exercised his constitutional right and elected not to be vaccinated.

Following the refusal, he was interrogated by company commander Major Noor Azlan, Sharull, the adjutant, a doctor and an ustaz.

“During that interrogation, I was put under tremendous pressure and was scolded by some of the officers for refusing to be vaccinated,” he said.

On July 10, Wan Ramli was charged with, among others, disobeying orders to be vaccinated and using threatening or insubordinate language to a superior officer.

On Aug 3, he was informed that his new order of discharge was effective from Aug 26.

Wan Ramli also requested to be court-martialled but this was refused by Sharull, which he said was a denial of procedural fairness.

He said the respondents took into account irrelevant considerations, misconstrued the provisions of the Armed Forces Act, were irrational, discriminatory and oppressive to him.

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