KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan said today the party would respond accordingly after it was sued by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla over RM12.5 million in unpaid legal fees.
In a statement, Wan Saiful said he was never informed that Mohamed Haniff was the party’s official legal counsel as he had always assumed the latter acted as a personal lawyer to former Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir, formerly Bersatu’s chairman and founding member, was sacked from the party in May 2020 following a split in the party that saw Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin teaming up with Barisan Nasional (BN), and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) to form the new ruling government earlier that year.
“If he was the party's official lawyer, he would have acted as per the party's Supreme Council instructions and served the whole party, not serving only one person.
“In any case, our party will look into this allegation and will react accordingly.
“I have to add that it is only now that I know how much Hanif charges. Looking at his price, he is certainly in a different category!” he sarcastically remarked.
Earlier today, The Vibes reported that Mohamed Haniff was instituting a legal suit of RM12.5 million in unpaid legal fees from Bersatu.
The claim was also made against a trio of Bersatu’s top leadership, current Bersatu president Muhyiddin, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin and Bersatu treasurer Datuk Mohamed Salleh Bajuri.
In the statement of claim, Mohamed Haniff said the monies sought were for legal services rendered before Bersatu was formed until it pulled out of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and subsequently joined Perikatan Nasional (PN).
“From 2015 to 2016, the plaintiff was a lawyer actively battling via legal means the kleptocracy, corruption and abuse of power by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his administration.
“Thus, based on similar philosophical ideologies, the plaintiff was called by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir to offer legal advice related to the laws concerning the formation and administration of a political party.
“These individuals directly or indirectly involved the plaintiff and used his legal services,” the statement reads.
Mohamed Haniff said among the legal services rendered to the party included matters relating to Bersatu’s registration with the Registrar of Societies, taking up court cases on its behalf and issues concerning its involvement in the 14th General Election.
It was also stated that Mohamed Haniff’s legal services to the party ended on February 24 when Bersatu violated the pact with PH to form the new ruling government under PN.
He added that an invoice was issued to Bersatu, Muhyiddin and Hamzah on January 11 this year but no response was received.
“Reminders were sent on February 16 to Salleh and one dated March 5 to Muhyiddin so that the defendants could take proactive steps to process the payment of RM12.5 million to the plaintiff,” he said.