No Sarawak for Ambiga

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KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk S. Ambiga found herself in a Catch 22 situation today in her bid to challenge an entry ban to Sarawak. The Federal Court has rejected her leave appeal for a judicial, citing that her application should have been filed at the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak instead, Malaysiakini reported.

The five-man panel of Tan Sri Ahmad Zulkifli Makinuddin, Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, Datuk Ahmad Maarop and Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari unanimously rejected the Bersih co-chairman’s application, and instructed Ambiga to pay costs to the Attorney-General’s Chambers of RM5,000 and another RM5,000 to the Sarawak Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The court found that Ambiga had failed to meet the requirements for appeal under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

However, the former Bar Council pointed out that the court did not consider the fact that she is barred from entering Sarawak, and so was unable to file her case there.

“I would not be able to see my lawyers there and attend proceedings in court. The court should have taken this into account, (that) a litigant cannot listen to his or her own case,” the news portal quoted her as saying.

Ambiga was barred from entering Sarawak during the polls campaign period in April 2011. She had planned to be there to monitor the polls as part of Bersih’s fight for clean and fair elections.



— mD