Anwar Ibrahim loses court battle to declare ouster as unlawful

Anwar, currently embroiled in a sodomy case, wanted Malaysia's Federal Court to declare that his dismissal from the cabinet post by then premier Mahathir Mohamad was unlawful and contravened the constitution.

The 63-year-old leader also asked the court for damages to be paid which would be assessed by the registrar, in lieu of reinstatement, national news agency Bernama said.
However, a three-judge bench, led by Court of Appeal president Tan Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, dismissed Anwar's appeal and said his sacking on September 2, 1998 was made in line with the Federal Constitution and valid under the law.

Alauddin held that former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, had the authority under the Federal Constitution to sack his cabinet minister.He said, the king, as a constitutional monarch, was required to act in accordance with advice of the premier.

Anwar had lost his bid in the both the High Court and Court of Appeal. The case has been rejected twice also been rejected twice at the lower courts in 1998 and 2007. Meanwhile, opposition Democratic Action Party chairman Karpal Singh said Anwar Ibrahim can remain as opposition leader because he continued to command the confidence of opposition MPs, local media reports said today.

Anwar's position as opposition leader came into question after three opposition PKR party MPs left the party to become independents, leaving the party with 27 seats.

Parliament speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had earlier said according to the Standing Orders of the House, a person could be made opposition leader even if he or she did not belong to the opposition party with the most number of seats — as long as the MP commanded majority support of opposition MPs.

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