KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — The High Court today dismissed cartoonist Zunar’s legal challenge against a travel ban on him and his bid to refer four constitutional questions to the Federal Court.
High Court judge Datin Azizah Nawawi reportedly ruled that Zunar’s application to refer four questions of law to the Federal Court was without merit.
“The constitutional issue posed does not arise from his substantive (main) application and this application is without merit,” she was quoted saying by news portal Malaysiakini.
As for Zunar’s main application to challenge the travel ban, the judge said the High Court is bound by the decision in several court cases, including the latest one at the Federal Court in DAP MP Tony Pua’s case
Zunar, or Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque as he is otherwise known, will have to pay RM5,000 in costs to the government.
Zunar reportedly said that he would file an appeal against the High Court’s ruling today.
On December 7, 2016, Zunar filed for leave for judicial review of the travel ban on him, naming the Immigration Director-General, the Home Minister and the government as respondents.
In his lawsuit, Zunar had sought a court order to quash the travel ban that was informed to him orally last October 17, and a declaration that the travel ban is null and void and unconstitutional as it had violated the Federal Constitution’s Articles 5(1), 8 and 9.
Article 5(1) states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except in accordance with the law, while Articles 8 and 9 cover the right to equality and freedom of movement.
Zunar had also sought for a court order to compel those sued to allow him to unrestricted travel abroad.
Zunar had said he was stopped by the Immigration Department last October 17 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where he was to fly to Singapore for a forum at a university there.
Zunar obtained leave for the hearing of his judicial review case on April 14.