High Court strikes out suit by Dr M against Najib over public misfeasance

KHAIRAH N. KARIM

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today struck out a suit by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over tort of misfeasance in public office pertaining to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) funds.

Judge Abu Bakar Jais allowed Najib’s striking out application in chambers after finding that the Prime Minister is not a public officer in public office but a member of the administration.

He ordered for Dr Mahathir, former Batu Kawan MP Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, and former Langkawi Wanita Umno member Anina Saadudin to pay RM30,000 in cost to Najib.

Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun who acted for Najib said the application was allowed on the basis that there was no reasonable cause of action and the claim was frivolous and vexatious.

“The court agreed with our argument that the Prime Minster, Deputy Prime Minister and political secretaries are not in public services but they are a member of administration as defined in the Federal Constitution.

“Because they are not public officers in public office, therefore the causes of action that they have filed which is for breach of fiduciary duties or tort of misfeasance in public office cannot stand,” he said.

Meanwhile, counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, who represented Dr Mahathir, Khairuddin and Anina, told reporters that they will be filing an appeal against the decision.

Najib filed the application to strike out the lawsuit brought against him by the three on grounds that there is no element of tort of misfeasance, as claimed by them.

On March 23, last year, Dr Mahathir, Khairuddin and Anina filed the suit against Najib over alleged abuse of power to obstruct investigation into the 1MDB issue, involving the remittance of RM2.6 billion and RM42 million into Najib’s personal accounts, among others.

They are seeking exemplary and aggravated damages of RM2.6 billion and RM42 million, respectively, among others.