KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — The High Court has accepted Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s application to dismiss the lawsuit of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four others over the revocation of their party memberships.
According to the Malaysiakini news portal, judge Rohani Ismail decided this after concluding that Dr Mahathir and the other plaintiffs have no legal standing to sue over what they claimed were the unlawful termination of their Bersatu memberships.
The judge further cited Section 18C of the Societies Act 1966 that prohibited litigation of internal party affairs.
The other plaintiffs were Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Datuk Seri Marzuki Yahya, Maszlee Malik, and Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah.
The judge also directed Dr Mahathir and the four to pay RM30,000 in cost.
Aside from Muhyiddin, the others in the successful application were Bersatu officials Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin and Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya, and Registrar of Societies.
Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla who represented Dr Mahathir said he would inform the latter that there could be room to contest today’s decision.
“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 was quoted as saying.
However, another development suggested that Dr Mahathir was unlikely to challenge the decision.
Earlier today, Sinar Harian reported that the former prime minister could launch yet another party this afternoon that will be named Parti Bersatu Rakyat Malaysia, in an apparent attempt to use the term “Bersatu” from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
The term Bersatu was already a reference to Umno’s name in Malaysia, Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu (United Malays National Organisation).
Dr Mahathir and four other MPs had on June 9 filed a lawsuit to challenge Bersatu’s termination of their memberships and effectively their leadership roles in late May, besides also seeking compensation.
Among others, they had sought court orders to declare that Bersatu president Muhyiddin was not the acting chairman of the party and that Hamzah’s appointment as the party’s secretary-general was invalid.