Federal Court throws out appeal by Uthayakumar to have RCI on prison reforms

KHAIRAH N. KARIM



PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today struck out lawyer P. Uthayakumar’s appeal seeking the court to direct the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into prison reforms in Malaysia.

A five-man panel led by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Md Raus Shariff rejected the appeal after allowing a preliminary objection by senior federal counsel Nadia Hanim Mohd Tajuddin.

“We are unanimous, we are not with you. We agree with the SFC’s preliminary objection,” Raus said ordering no cost.

Uthayakumar who represented himself was appealing against a High Court decision which dismissed his application seeking for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with the Attorney-General’s advice, to propose to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to establish the commission.

Uthayakumar named Najib, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Prisons director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar, Kajang Prison director Abdul Wahab Abdul Kassim, the Attorney-General and Malaysian government as respondents.

In the application, Uthayakumar, said among others, prisoners nationwide should be given healthcare and medical treatment by specialists.

Uthayakumar was sentenced to 30 months’ jail for sedition by a Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur in 2013.

He was, however, released from prison in October 2014 after the Court of Appeal reduced his jail term to 24 months.