Decision on whether to transfer Anwar’s NSC suit to Federal Court on March 14


The High Court here today fixed March 14 to decide whether it would hear the legal challenge by Port Dickson Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) to invalidate the National Security Council Act (NSC) 2016, or to transfer the case to the Federal Court.

Judge Datuk Nordin Hassan said he would peruse the question of law to look into the matter and deliberate whether the matter should be transferred to the Federal Court for a hearing or remain at the High Court. 

Earlier, counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said Anwar, who is also PKR president, as the applicant was seeking to transfer the matter to the Federal Court for it to decide on constitutional questions.

Sri Ram said the application was made under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

The two proposed constitutional questions are on whether the following provisions of written law are unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect namely Section 12 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1983, Section 2 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1984 and Section 8 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1994, on the ground that they violate the basic structure of the Federal Constitution and whether the NSC Act 2016 is unconstitutional, null, and void and of no effect.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, who acted for NSC, told the court that the respondent had no objection to the application.

Anwar filed the originating summons to challenge the constitutionality of the NSC which came into force on Aug 1, 2016, but was struck out by the High Court on grounds that the legal challenge should have been filed at the Federal Court as it involved legislative competence by Parliament.

Article 4 (4) of the Federal Constitution states that commencement of proceedings for a declaration that a law is invalid, should be filed at the Federal Court by way of obtaining leave from a Federal Court judge.

Anwar lost his appeal at the appellate court which was dismissed on Nov 6, 2017. In March 2018, the Federal Court granted him leave to appeal against the decision.

On Nov 13, 2018, the Federal Court allowed Anwar’s appeal and remitted back the matter to the High Court for hearing of the merit.

In his originating summons filed on Aug 2, 2016, Anwar claimed that the implementation of NSC Act 2016 was unconstitutional and void, naming NSC and the government as the first and second defendant, respectively.

He is seeking to invalidate the NSC Act in his bid to restore the power of the King on Royal Assent.