PKR mulls court action against Prisons Department chief over Anwar’s bid to attend Parliament


(Malay Mail Online) – PKR is considering legal action against Prisons Department director-general Datuk Zulkifli Omar if the Home Ministry fails to overturn his decision prohibiting jailed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from attending Parliament, party lawmakers said today.

PKR Chief Whip Datuk Johari Abdul called Zulkifli’s decision a “political ploy” and a violation of Anwar’s rights under Article 48(4)(c) of the Federal Constitution, as the party de facto leader remains Permatang Pauh MP in light of his petition for a royal pardon.

“An option is to bring Zulkifli Omar to face the court,” Johari told a press conference at PKR’s headquarters here today.

“Anwar’s petition is still alive, and this has been confirmed by the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat,” the Sungai Petani MP said.

He said ignoring this undermined the Federal Constitution Constitution as well as the position of the Speaker, demanding that Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi overturn the decision of the Prisons Department that comes under the purview of the Home Ministry.

Kapar MP Manivanan Gawin from PKR, who was also at the press conference, said Zulkifli must obey the law and “follow the Federal Constitution”.

“(The Prisons Director) must follow the law,” PKR MP for Kapar, Manivanan Gawin, said, “follow the Federal Constitution.”

Anwar’s family said Tuesday that the Prisons Department will not allow the opposition leader to attend next week’s parliamentary session.

The Federal Court upheld on February 10 the Court of Appeal’s 2014 ruling that reversed Anwar’s acquittal of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and sentenced the Permatang Pauh lawmaker to five years’ jail.

He remains an MP and federal opposition leader pending the outcome of the petition for a royal pardon filed on his behalf by his family.

PKR also insists that Anwar is entitled to be present during next week’s Parliament sitting as federal opposition leader, but lawyers previously told Malay Mail Online that there is no specific legal provision that provides Anwar with such a right.