PUTRAJAYA, Jan 5 — The Federal Court has dismissed applications by a former Member of Parliament and a Pandan voter for leave to pursue their appeals to challenge former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s request to dissolve Parliament which paved the way for the 15th General Election (GE15).

A three-member panel comprising Federal Court judges Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan today dismissed the applications of former Klang MP Charles Anthony R. Santiago and Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar with no order on costs.

In delivering the court’s decision, Justice Nallini said GE15 had been completed and a new government installed and that Parliament had convened.

She said the court was constrained to exercise its discretion to uphold the preliminary objection by the government, Ismail Sabri and the Election Commission (EC).


Justice Nallini said the current state of the new government cannot exist without the initial request for dissolution of Parliament, adding that it was not possible to divorce the results from the events that commenced with and ensued from the request for the dissolution.

In their respective notices of motion seeking for leave to pursue their appeals in the Federal Court, Santiago and Syed Iskandar had raised several questions of law for the Federal Court to determine.

Both men had separately filed legal actions in the High Court to challenge the then prime minister’s advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve parliament, which paved the way for EC to hold GE15.


They, however, lost their cases in the High Court on Oct 28 last year and their appeals were also dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Nov 15 last year, prompting them to file leave to appeal applications to the Federal Court.

In the proceedings conducted online, both Federal Counsel Low Wen Zhen, representing Ismail Sabri, the government and EC in Syed Iskandar’s case; and lawyer Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, representing these three in Santiago’s case; argued that the court should not grant leave as the matter had become academic.

Low said GE15 had been held and its results had been announced and gazetted, and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had appointed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister on Dec 24 last year after conferring with the Conference of Rulers and in accordance with the Yang-di-Pertuan Agong’s powers under the Federal Constitution.

The court earlier heard submissions from lawyers Datuk Gopal Sri Ram and Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar representing Syed Iskandar and Santiago respectively.

Sri Ram argued that the court should give leave as the question of law proposed related to whether the request by the prime minister for dissolution of Parliament was justiciable.

He said the Federal Court’s decision would provide guidance to legal advisers to the government if a similar challenge recurred in the future. — Bernama