Tuesday, March 19

Dec 17: Decision on AGC’s application to strike out PM’s suit


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court yesterday fixed Dec 17 to decide on an application by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to strike out an originating summons by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad seeking for the court to declare null and void the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report into foreign exchange losses suffered by Bank Negara Malaysia in the 1990s.

Judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi fixed the date in chambers after hearing submissions by senior federal counsel Mazlifah Ayob, representing the AGC, and Dr Mahathir’s lawyer, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla.

Mazlifah, when met by reporters, said she submitted that the plaintiff (Dr Mahathir) did not have a reasonable cause of action to file the suit.

“The report by the commission is non-justiciable and cannot be challenged in court. The suit is also academic because the report has been tabled in Parliament. There is nothing else for the court to declare because the public already know about the report,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Haniff Khatri, in his submission said everything tendered during the inquiry proceedings must be in the report.

He also said that anyone reading the report should have a fair understanding of the matter and needed to know the documents that were presented during the proceedings.

Dr Mahathir filed the suit in December 2017 seeking to declare the report by RCI on Bank Negara Malaysia’s forex trading losses as null and void as it excluded legal documents of witnesses and notes of proceeding

He named the RCI chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, its members, comprising Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon, K Pushpanathanan and Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail, as well as former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, cabinet members and the government, as defendants.

He is seeking to declare the RCI’s report on the Bank Negara’s losses due to forex trading in the 1990s was illegal, incomplete and defective as it lacked proceeding notes, and written and oral submissions through transcription or video recording.

He is also seeking a declaration that any report by a Royal Commission of Inquiry set up under the Commission of Enquiry Act 1950 would only be legal and in order if it had all the written statements by the witnesses who testified in the proceeding, the proceeding notes, the submissions, and the findings. — Bernama