Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and five others have failed to obtain an ad interim injunction at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today in a bid to declare that their termination as Bersatu members was unlawful.
Mahathir is among the party’s co-founders while the five others are Mukhriz Mahathir, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Maszlee Malik, Amiruddin Hamzah and Marzuki Yahya.
Mahathir and his son Mukhriz also failed to seek a temporary order to remain as chairman and deputy president of the party respectively, while Marzuki was unsuccessful in obtaining a temporary order over his status as a member of the party.
High Court judge Rohani Ismail granted Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, the Registrar of Societies Malaysia (RoS) and other defendants the right to not file their statement of defence until after the disposal of the defendants’ application to strike out the action.
Aside from Muhyiddin, who is also prime minister, and RoS, the other defendants were Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin, RoS director-general Masyati Abang Ibrahim and Bersatu organising secretary Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya.
On June 11, Mahathir and the other five plaintiffs filed the ad interim injunction to maintain their status quo in the party pending the court’s decision on the main suit scheduled for hearing on July 9.
Lawyer Haniff Khatri, representing Team Mahathir, launched the suit alleging that Mahathir was unlawfully removed as Bersatu chairman, among others.
Haniff also alleged various conspiracies by Muhyiddin to remove Mahathir as chairman of the party. In his affidavit, Mahathir also denied he was with PH.
But the affidavits filed by Muhyiddin, Hamzah and Suhaimi said that it was undisputed that Mahathir had resigned on Feb 24 this year as chairman and according to Bersatu’s constitution Article 16.9, Muhyiddin was required to step in as chairman.
When asked by reporters outside the court, lawyer Rosli Dahlan, who represented Muhyiddin and the other defendants, said Mahathir’s action ought to be struck out for being frivolous and vexatious.
Rosli added that this was an abuse of the court process principally because Mahathir and his supporters had no locus standi and no other legal and factual grounds.
Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambali, who represented RoS, denied allegations that RoS was involved in any conspiracy. He said RoS only carried out its duties as prescribed by the Societies Act. RoS is also seeking to strike out the action by Mahathir.
In his ad interim order application, Haniff said the status quo needed to be preserved as the sixth plaintiff, Marzuki, was still a member although he conceded that Article 10.2.6 resulted in all the plaintiffs’ membership being terminated.
The court, however, rejected it on the balance of justice and principles of law.
Aside from Rosli, the defendants were represented by D P Nabaan, Chetan Jethwani and Leonard D’Cruz while Mahathir and the other plaintiffs were represented by Haniff and his co-counsel. - June 18, 2020