Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Anwar gets green light to challenge validity of his sacking


The Federal Court here yesterday gave the green light to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to challenge the constitutionality of his sacking from cabinet posts, almost 10 years ago, by former Premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. A three-man panel by Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum unanimously granted leave to Anwar to appeal to the Federal Court against a High Court’s ruling that his dismissal a Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister was lawfully executed by Dr Mahathir. Following this outcome the Federal Court will determine two questions of law — whether Anwar’s sacking was unconstitutional or not, and whether Dr Mahathir could sack his Deputy, without first advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The court will decide first, whether the provisions of Article 43(5) of the Federal Constitution specifically requires the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to be the authority which revokes the appointment of Anwar as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister in the Malaysian Cabinet, having regard to the principle that it is only the authority which appoints has the right to revoke any appointment made by it; And secondly, whether the deletion of the name of Anwar from the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, and its substitution thereof, with the name of the first respondent (Dr Mahathir) as the Minister of Finance, could in anyway cure the complete absence of the first respondent (Dr Mahathir) with the explicit of the said article. The court has yet to fix the date t hear Anwar’s final appeal. Anwar was ordered by the court to file the record of appeal within 14 days, Presiding together with Malanjum were Federal Court Judges Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman and Datuk Abdul Aziz MohamadOn Dec 23, 1998, the High Court dismissed Anwar’s suit against Dr Mahathir and the Government, to summarily strike out his application for an order to declare Dr Mahathir’s decision to dismiss him from the cabinet posts on Sept 2, 1998 was unlawful and null and void. Anwar contended that the revocation of his appointment must be effected by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, acting on the Prime Minister’s advice and that it (revocation) cannot be effected by the Prime Minister, without prior assent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Anwar also failed to reverse the High Court’s decision after the Court of Appeal, on April 25 2007, rejected his appeal and affirmed the High Court’s decision. The Court of Appeal had held that Anwar’s sacking from the Cabinet posts was lawfully executed by Dr Mahathir since the power to appoint and dismiss ministers lay with the Prime Minister. Anwar was represented by lawyers Karpal Singh, Ram Karpal Singh, S. N. Nair and Nicholas Netto. Anwar was not present in court. -Bernama