Anwar, four reps fail in bid to challenge Muhyiddin’s advice to suspend Parliament


PUTRAJAYA – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) and four elected representatives have failed in their bid to challenge Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s action in advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to suspend Parliament during the emergency period.

This was after a three-member Court of Appeal panel chaired by Judge Datuk Has Zanah Mehat dismissed the appeals by Anwar, Pulai MP Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul, Tebing Tinggi assemblyman Abdul Aziz Bari and Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim, for leave to initiate a judicial review application against the former prime minister and the government.

In a unanimous decision, justice Has Zanah said that the court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the judicial review applications even if leave was granted to the appellants.

“It will be exercised in futility as the court is barred by Article 150 (8) of the Federal Constitution from questioning the exercise of discretion by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the proclamation of emergency,” she said.

Justice Has Zanah said the power of the court depends on what the constitution provides, not what some political thinkers think what judicial power is.

She said pursuant to Articles 150 (6) and (8) of the Federal Constitution, Parliament intended to exclude judicial review on the decision to proclaim emergency as well as shutting the doors of the court to any challenge of the law made during the emergency and proclamation of emergency by Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“The court finds no error in law by the three learned High Court judges in dismissing the leave for judicial review. We, therefore dismiss the appeals with no order as to costs,” said Justice Has Zanah, who sat with Justices Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera and Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim, in the proceedings conducted virtually.

On April 22 this year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed Anwar’s application to obtain leave to commence a judicial review to challenge Muhyiddin’s advice to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to suspend Parliament during the state of emergency.

The then High Court judge Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya (now Court of Appeal judge) had dismissed Anwar’s application on grounds that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the judicial review based on Articles 150 (6) and 150 (8) of the Federal Constitution.

Justice Mariana ruled that the advice of the Cabinet and Muhyiddin to Al-Sultan Abdullah to promulgate the Emergency Ordinance was not amenable to judicial review.

Anwar, who is Port Dickson MP, filed the application seeking leave to initiate a judicial review on Jan 25 this year, naming Muhyiddin and the government as respondents in his application.

Anwar sought, among others, a court declaration that the decision by the Cabinet, led by Muhyiddin, to advise Al-Sultan Abdullah to promulgate Section 14 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, which had resulted in the suspension of Parliament, is unconstitutional, unlawful, has no effect and is ultra vires.

On March 11 this year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed the applications for leave for judicial review brought by Salahuddin, Johari and Abdul Aziz on a similar issue while Hassan’s leave bid was dismissed by the Johor Bahru High Court on April 26, this year.

They had also named Muhyiddin and the government as respondents in their applications.