Anwar can be present in court for civil case over Permatang Pauh by-election

KHAIRAH N. KARIM


PUTRAJAYA: Jailed PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim can be present in court for his civil case over his right to vote in the parliamentary by-election in May 2015, the Court of Appeal ruled.

A three-man Court of Appeal panel chaired by Datuk Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid made the unanimous decision after allowing his application against the deputy registrar's decision to cancel an order to produce (OTP) him at the court for his appeal.

In the judgment, Umi reminded all parties that the court's decision was only pertaining to Anwar's application and appeal before the court.

The court also made no order as to cost.

The other judges who presided were Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim.

Anwar, 69, who is serving a five-year jail term at the Sungai Buloh Prison for sodomy, made the application with regards with his appeal against a High Court decision which rejected his bid for a declaration on his right to vote in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election on May 7 2015.

The High Court had on July 15, last year ruled that the Election Commission (EC) has no jurisdiction to bring him to the polling station for him to cast his vote in any elections.

It held that the respective prisoner has to apply to the Prisons Department director-general to make necessary arrangements to allow a prisoner to vote.

On the eve of the May 7 Permatang Pauh by-election in 2015, Anwar had filed a legal action against the EC, its former chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, and the government, seeking a declaration that he is qualified to vote not only in the concluded Permatang Pauh by-election but also in any future elections.

He is also seeking for compensation for being denied his right to vote, among others.

After the proceeding, when asked by reporters on the forex losses probe, Anwar who was former deputy prime minister and finance minister, said he has given information to the task force and was not given any documents.

"I did my duty as the former DPM to assist in the investigation. The notice was only given to me a day before and I was not given any documents," he said.

On April 20, Anwar was summoned before a special task force investigating Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) forex losses in the 1990s at the Finance Ministry in Kuala Lumpur.