Court of Appeal upholds High Court decision on sacking of Anwar
By RAPHAEL WONG, The Star Online
PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has held that the sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister nine years ago by the-then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was lawful.
It ruled that the Prime Minister has the power to dismiss any Minister in the Cabinet and he could at any time advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong, who is bound to act on his advice.
Court of Appeal judges Justices Zulkefli Ahamd, Md Raus Sharif and Heliliah Mohd Yusof unanimously dismissed Anwar’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to summarily strike out his suit against the Prime Minister and the Government for dismissing him on Sept 2, 1998.
The High Court had on Dec 23, 1998, struck out Anwar’s civil action for an order that his dismissal from the Cabinet on Sept 2 was unlawful.
At the Court of Appeal yesterday, Registrar Hasnah Datuk Hashim read out the judgments of the three judges.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong as a constitutional monarch is bound to act on the advice of the Prime Minister.
“Therefore, in my view, there was nothing wrong for the first respondent (the Prime Minister) to have stated in the said letter dated Sept 2 1998 that with regret he had to dismiss the appellant from holding the posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance as well as other posts in the Government,” said Justice Zulkefli.
Justice Raus said under the scheme of the Federal Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was a constitutional monarch who acted on ministerial advice and not on his own initiative.
“In short, no Minister can remain as a member of the Cabinet if the Prime Minister decides that he should be dismissed,” he said.
He said Anwar was no longer a member of either House of Parliament and that the Parliament, on which he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives had been dissolved.
“Thus to accede to Anwar’s counsel Mr Karpal (Singh)’s submission that the case should be sent back to the High Court to have it tried, would clearly be an exercise of futility,” he said.
Justices Zulkefli and Raus also stated that the letter of dismissal to Anwar was in accordance with the formality as the Prime Minister’s advice was conveyed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong contrary to Anwar’s contention.
Both appellate judges held this fact was further fortified by an affidavit of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s Confidential Secretary Ja’afar Wahab, who affirmed that the monarch had informed him of the Prime Minister’s decision and advice to dismiss Anwar that it was duly accepted.
They also said Anwar had failed to challenge this material point.
Justice Raus said: “It is a well settled principle governing the evaluation of affidavit evidence that where one party makes a positive assertion upon a material issue, the failure of his opponent to contradict it would usually be treated as an admission”.
Anwar, who spoke to reporters after the decision was delivered, said he would file for leave to appeal to the Federal Court.
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Datuk Anwar Ibrahim lost his appeal against a High Court's decision to dismiss his action against the then PM in Malaysia and also the government back in the 1998. You can read all of them in The Star. Here is the outcome: