Govt wants High Court to stop hearing Anwar’s challenge on NSC Act

The government says Anwar Ibrahim’s challenge on the validity of the National Security Council (NSC) Act is academic.

PUTRAJAYA: The government has filed a preliminary objection against Anwar Ibrahim’s challenge on the validity of the National Security Council (NSC) Act being heard in the High Court as it is academic.

Lawyer J Leela, however, said Anwar is opposing the matter as the majority in the Federal Court bench of judges only declined to answer the questions posed while the minority gave their legal opinions.

“In view of this, the High Court judge (Nordin Hassan) has fixed June 4 for parties to make submissions whether he could hear Anwar’s legal challenge,” Leela told FMT after case management today.

Senior federal counsel Alice Loke and Suzana Atan represented the government.

Last week, the Federal Court, in a majority 5-2 ruling, declined to answer legal and constitutional questions posed by Anwar on the validity of the NSC Act as the questions were “abstract, academic and hypothetical”.

“The applicant (Anwar) has not demonstrated that the NSC has interfered with his life,” said Nallini Pathmanathan, who delivered the majority decision.

She sent the matter back to the High Court for deliberation.

The others in the majority were Chief Judge of Malaya Azahar Mohamed and Federal Court judges Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Idrus Harun.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and outgoing Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak David Wong Dak Wah were in the minority.

Both said the NSC was unconstitutional as it was not enacted in accordance with the requirements of Article 149 of the Federal Constitution.

Anwar is seeking a declaration that 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 are null and void on grounds that they breach the basic structure of the Federal Constitution.

He is seeking a consequential declaration that the NSC Act is unconstitutional, null and void on grounds that it became law pursuant to an unconstitutional amendment, was not enacted in accordance with Article 149, and violates freedom of movement as guaranteed under Article 9 (2).