KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four other MPs today filed a lawsuit to challenge Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) termination of their memberships and effectively their leadership roles almost two weeks ago, besides also seeking compensation.
In their lawsuit where they are seeking for 26 court orders, Dr Mahathir and the other affected individuals wanted the court to declare that Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is not the acting chairman of the party and that Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin’s appointment as the party’s secretary-general is invalid, and to even have the latter two terminated as party members.
In the lawsuit filed this afternoon at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Mahathir had filed it in his stated capacity as Bersatu chairman, with the rest who are suing named as Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as Bersatu deputy president, Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman as Bersatu Youth chief, Maszlee Malik and Amiruddin Hamzah. All five of them insist that they are still Bersatu members despite the party’s May 28 removal of them.
The two others listed as having brought the lawsuit are Datuk Marzuki Yahya who Bersatu said no longer acts as secretary-general despite his insistence of his continued role, and Bersatu which the six individuals said was bringing the lawsuit through them.
As for the four individuals which Dr Mahathir and the rest are suing, they were listed as Muhyiddin, Hamzah, organising secretary Captain (retired) Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya who had issued the letter to notify Dr Mahathir and the four others of their membership ending, and Masyati Abang Ibrahim in her capacity as the director-general of the Registry of Societies Malaysia.
What Dr M and co wants
In the 61-page statement of claim, Dr Mahathir and the five others listed the 26 orders they are seeking from the court, including for a declaration that Dr Mahathir is a valid member and chairman of Bersatu and who had won the chairman post uncontested in the party elections.
They also want court declarations that Mukhriz remains a valid member and Bersatu deputy president who can contest for that position in the upcoming party polls, that Syed Saddiq is a valid Bersatu youth chief who can contest for that post, and that both Maszlee and Amiruddin are still valid Bersatu members who can be candidates for the positions of Bersatu supreme council member and vice-president respectively.
They also want a court declaration that Suhaimi’s May 28 letters of membership termination to the five of them and the subsequent confirmation through a June 4 Bersatu supreme council meeting were invalid.
They want a court declaration to invalidate RoS’ director-general Masyati’s May 5 letter informing Dr Mahathir that he is no longer Bersatu chairman, as well as to invalidate both Suhaimi’s May 19 letter to notify him of this and the subsequent confirmation in a June 4 Bersatu supreme council meeting.
They also want a declaration that Marzuki is the valid Bersatu secretary-general and a valid candidate to contest for the deputy president post in upcoming party polls, as well as a declaration to invalidate both Muhyiddin’s March 18 letter to notify Marzuki of his sacking from the secretary-general position and a related decision via a June 4 supreme council meeting.
Beyond seeking court recognition of their party memberships and party leadership roles, Dr Mahathir and the five others also want court declarations for the termination of the Bersatu memberships of Muhyiddin, Hamzah and Suhaimi.
They are also asking the courts to declare the membership termination of all Bersatu members who are holding any post as minister, deputy minister, political secretary, special officers or appointments in government agencies or government-linked companies under the current government.
Dr Mahathir and the five other individuals also asked the court to declare that Muhyiddin is not the valid acting chairman for Bersatu since February 24, and to cancel and invalidate all Bersatu supreme council meetings chaired by Muhyiddin since February 24 and decisions made in such meetings.
They also applied for the court to declare that Hamzah’s appointment as secretary-general as being invalid, and that any decisions made by Hamzah in that capacity to be similarly invalidated.
They also sought a court declaration to invalidate all decisions and actions regarding Bersatu made either separately or jointly by Muhyiddin, Hamzah, Suhaimi and Masyati since February 23 until the end of this lawsuit.
Dr Mahathir and the five others also asked for the court to issue injunction orders on Muhyiddin, Hamzah, Suhaimi to stop them from calling or holding any Bersatu meetings and making any decisions or actions until the end of this lawsuit, and to order the RoS to make changes to Bersatu’s registration documents as ordered by the court.
They also want the court to declare that the Societies Act 1966’s Section 18C — which states that political parties’ decisions regarding party matters are final and conclusive and not to be challenged in court and which ousts the courts’ jurisdiction to decide on these matters — does not apply to their current lawsuit and is unconstitutional.
They also sought compensation to be determined by the court, as well as other reliefs or orders that the court finds suitable.
Dr Mahathir and the five individuals are represented in this lawsuit by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla’s firm.
In their filing, Dr Mahathir and the five others assert that they are valid Bersatu members seeking to challenge those sued for alleged wrongful and invalid action, as well as alleged involvement in a purported conspiracy for an illegal power grab of Bersatu’s leadership.
Among other things detailed in the lawsuit, the six said Muhyiddin had in a March 18 letter removed Marzuki from his post as Bersatu secretary-general, and had on March 26 appointed Hamzah as the party secretary-general. The six argued that both the sacking and new appointment were invalid and not in line with the party’s constitution.
In a May 28 letter, Bersatu had in a letter informed Dr Mahathir and four of those suing that their party membership had ceased with immediate effect, due to their decision to sit in the federal Opposition bloc during the May 18 Dewan Rakyat proceedings instead of the government bloc with MPs supporting Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional administration.