PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here on Tuesday granted the government of Malaysia and two others leave to appeal against the appellate court’s decision over pension payments for senators who served before 2015.

A panel of three judges led by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Sebli held that the questions of law proposed by the government, the Public Service Department (PSD) director-general, and the chief administrator of Parliament require further arguments.

“Therefore, in such circumstances, leave is granted,” he said.

The other judges sitting with Justice Abdul Rahman were Federal Court judges Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil and Datuk Hanipah Farikullah.

An applicant must first obtain leave from the Federal Court to pursue an appeal in the Federal Court. The applicant must show to the Federal Court that the proposed appeal contains novel legal or constitutional questions of public importance which are being raised for the first time and require further arguments.

Earlier, the applicants, represented by senior federal counsels Rahazlan Affandi Abdul Rahim and Liew Horng Bin, proposed six legal questions to be determined by the Federal Court.

On Jan 30 this year, former senators Datuk Idris Buang and Datuk Seri Kamarudin Ambok won their appeal in the Court of Appeal to set aside a High Court’s dismissal of their suit against the government, the PSD director-general and the chief administrator of Parliament.

Their suit was dismissed by the High Court on Jan 16, 2020.

The duo, representing a group of other retired senators, filed an originating summons in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Aug 15, 2019, and named the chief administrator of Parliament, the PSD director-general and the government as respondents.

They sought a declaration that they have the right to have their pensions recomputed and revised in accordance with the increased salary of Members of Parliament under the Members of Parliament (Remuneration)(Amendment) Act 2015 (Act A1491).

According to Idris and Kamarudin, the amendment took effect on Jan 1, 2015.

They also want a declaration that they are entitled to receive recomputed and revised pensions based on the substantial (about 167.45%) increased salary of current serving members of the Senate/Parliament, which has been raised from the original salary of about RM4,112.79 a month to RM11,000 a month.

The Court of Appeal’s three-man panel ruled that the respondents were entitled to receive a pension equivalent to a proportion of the salaries of senators at that time.

The appellate court held the view that the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) (Amendment of First Schedule) Order 2015 (the 2015 Order) did not have a retrospective effect. It could only come into force on March 4, 2015, which was the day on which the 2015 Order was gazetted.

The former senators were represented by a team of lawyers led by Krishna Dallumah. – Bernama