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Thursday, December 3, 2009

'Unlawful sacking': Last chance for Anwar

After 11 years, Anwar Ibrahim's final chance to challenge his unlawful dismissal as deputy prime minister is being heard at the Federal Court today.

Three judges at the apex court would decide two questions of law and most importantly, should it decide in favour of Anwar, his application for damages.

The two questions are:

Whether Article 43(5) of the federal constitution specifically require the Agong to be the authority which revokes the appointment of the deputy prime minister and finance minister, or whether the cabinet has the right to revoke any appointment it makes; and

Whether the deletion of Anwar’s name as deputy premier and the substitution of Mahathir’s name as finance minister by virtue the Federal Government (Amendment) Order 1998, could in anyway cure the complete absence of the former premier complying with the explicit provision of the said Article 43(5).

Court of Appeal president Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, along with Federal Court judge Abdull Hamid Embung, will hear the appeal after it was postponed on Monday following justice Hashim Yusoff had decided to recuse himself.

Anwar’s lead counsel Karpal Singh said since Hashim had heard Anwar’s sodomy matter at the Court of Appeal, he should be removed from the bench as his presence may prejudice the trial.

Following this, Hashim said, “If you want me to recuse myself, I will”.The third judge hearing this appeal is justice Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff.

Anwar was unsuccessful in the suit at the High Court when it struck out the matter. The Court of Appeal has also dismissed his appeal and ruled Anwar’s dismissal as lawful.

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