KUALA LUMPUR: Anwar Ibrahim has failed in his bid to challenge the proclamation of emergency when the High Court here dismissed a leave application by the parliamentary opposition leader to commence judicial review of the advice to the King to declare the emergency.
This is the second such challenge to be thrown out by the courts.
Anwar’s lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said that among the reasons given was that the ouster clauses in Articles 150(6) and (8) of the Federal Constitution were valid and excluded judicial review of matters relating to the proclamation of an emergency and resulting ordinances by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
This included the advice to the king by the prime minister and his Cabinet to promulgate such ordinances.
“The judge also considered that the said advice of the prime minister did not amount to a decision which was amenable to judicial review as a ground in dismissing the application,” he said of judge Mariana Yahya’s written judgment delivered via zoom this afternoon.
Ramkarpal said he was unable to provide further comments until he had read the full grounds of the decision.
“However, we have been instructed to file an appeal,” said the lawyer, who is also Bukit Gelugor MP.
In an application filed on Jan 25, Anwar sought a court declaration that the decision by the Cabinet, led by Muhyiddin Yassin, to advise the King to promulgate Section 14 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, which had resulted in the suspension of Parliament, was unconstitutional, unlawful, had no effect and was ultra vires.
Anwar also sought a declaration that Section 14 of the Emergency Ordinance was inconsistent with Article 150 (3) and (5) of the Federal Constitution, and therefore was unconstitutional and invalid, apart from applying for a mandamus order for both respondents to advise Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah to repeal the said section.
In addition, the Port Dickson MP filed an application to refer four legal questions to the Federal Court pertaining to the same (emergency) issue. However this appears to have become an academic issue following his failure to get leave.
On March 11, another High Court judge, Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, also ruled that any challenge made against the King’s emergency proclamation and the ordinances enacted was not amenable to judicial review.
Ahmad Kamal said Article 150(8), which states that the King’s decision cannot be challenged in any court on any grounds, was valid and constitutional.
“More importantly, Article 150(8) has shut the court’s doors on any challenge or application made against the proclamation and the ordinances enacted,” he said in dismissing the application by Salahuddin Ayub (Pulai MP), Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani MP) and Abdul Aziz Bari (Tebing Tinggi assemblyman in Perak).
Similar challenges by Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim, former PPBM leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan, a group of non-governmental organisations and the Malaysian Bar are pending in the High Court.