Court Allows Muhyiddin’s Bid to Strike out Dr M’s Suit

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The High Court here allowed applications by PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin and three others to strike out a lawsuit against them by Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four others to challenge their termination from the party.

The other three are the Home Minister and Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin, Bersatu organising secretary Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya, and Registrar of Societies (ROS) director-general Masyati Abang Ibrahim.

Aside from their application to strike out the whole suit, they were also applying to remove Bersatu and Masyati as the listed plaintiff and defendant in the suit, respectively.

Mahathir’s lawyer, Haniff Khatri Abdullah, told reporters this after High Court judge Rohani Ismail delivered her decision in chambers.

“Her Ladyship views that the five plaintiffs’ claims ought to be struck out because they do not have the legal position or locus standi to bring such an action to court.

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“In her ruling, she also said Section 18C of the Societies Act bars any dispute in political parties to be taken to court,” he said.

Haniff said the court ordered Mahathir, Mukhriz Mahathir, Maszlee Malik, Amiruddin Hamzah and Marzuki Yahya to pay RM30,000 in costs.

He said he will seek the five men’s instructions on whether to appeal against today’s ruling.

In their statement of claim, the five men said the decision to terminate their PPBM memberships was invalid as working secretary Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya had no power to remove them from the party.

They also contended that Suhaimi’s position was not recognised under PPBM’s constitution.

They also disputed the use of Articles 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 of the party constitution against them, saying these only state that members who join another political party or resign from PPBM will have their memberships revoked.

The five are seeking the reinstatement of their memberships and to nullify the memberships of Muhyiddin, Suhaimi and secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin on grounds that they had joined Perikatan Nasional.

There was also another application by Mahathir and the other plaintiffs for an interim injunction to maintain status-quo between parties, pending disposal of the main suit.

Haniff said that he would be advising his client that there are grounds to appeal this decision.

“Of course, it will be subject to further verifying with the judgement.

“But whether the appeal will be filed or otherwise will be determined by the plaintiffs upon considerations of the political developments in the nation.

“So, at this juncture, I will not be able to confirm if and when the notice of appeal will be filed,” he said to reporters after the decision was delivered today.