Anwar files for review of majority ruling on NSC Act

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim wants answers to his challenge on the validity of the National Security Council Act.

PUTRAJAYA: Anwar Ibrahim has filed a motion to review a Federal Court majority ruling which refused to provide answers to his challenge on the validity of the National Security Council (NSC) Act.

The PKR president said there was a serious breach of natural justice as he was not accorded the right to be heard on the issue of whether the constitutional questions posed were abstract, academic and hypothetical.

“The majority came to a decision based on an issue never raised by the respondent (government) in its submission,” he said in the motion sighted by FMT.

Anwar, who filed the review early last month, said a grave injustice had been done and the government had taken the position to strike out his suit now before the High Court.

He wants the Federal Court to set aside the majority decision and make an order deemed proper and just.

On Feb 11, 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 then 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 then 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).

A week later, the government filed a preliminary objection in the High Court against Anwar’s challenge and is now academic. Anwar is opposing the move.