KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — As 2023 concludes, the legal stage in Malaysia is set for another year of captivating court cases, promising a mix of unfinished business, appeals, and pivotal verdicts.

As we enter 2024, let’s take a closer look at the high-profile cases that are expected to unfold, capturing the nation’s attention. Mark these dates on your calendar:

JANUARY

Loh Siew Hong's battle for custody continues

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Hindu mother Loh Siew Hong is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex on September 27, 2023. Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Hindu mother Loh Siew Hong is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex on September 27, 2023. Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

The year will kick off with a significant case as Hindu mother Loh Siew Hong seeks justice in the Court of Appeal on January 10. At the heart of the matter is the unilateral conversion of Loh’s three underage children to Islam by her estranged ex-husband in 2020, a move contested by Loh.

Sedition charges await Kedah MB

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Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor at the Selayang Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur October 4, 2023. — Bernama pic
Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor at the Selayang Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur October 4, 2023. — Bernama pic

Moving into the political arena, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor will face two sedition charges. Scheduled for a 12-day hearing starting January 2024, these charges relate to seditious words uttered during political talks last July. If convicted, Sanusi could face a maximum fine of up to RM5,000 or imprisonment for up to three years, or both.

Najib's bid for acquittal in SRC International case

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 18, 2023. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 18, 2023. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is set to make headlines again as he applies in the High Court to be acquitted of three money laundering charges involving 1MDB subsidiary SRC International Bhd funds totalling RM27 million.

Paul Yong's rape case appeal and Malaysia's first stalking trial

On July 27 last year, the High Court in Ipoh found former Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong guilty of raping his 23-year-old Indonesian maid in a room of his house in Ipoh, Perak between 8.15pm and 9.15pm on July 7, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
On July 27 last year, the High Court in Ipoh found former Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong guilty of raping his 23-year-old Indonesian maid in a room of his house in Ipoh, Perak between 8.15pm and 9.15pm on July 7, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

The month will also see the appeal of former Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong, who faces a 13-year prison term and whipping sentence for the alleged rape of his maid in 2019. Yong was a former DAP man turned but is now the senior vice-president of Parti Bangsa Malaysia.

Meanwhile, January 17 will see the one-day trial for Mohamad Safiq Rosli, the first man charged with stalking in Malaysia.

FEBRUARY

Indira Gandhi's sues IGP over inaction

In the suit filed on October 28, 2020, Indira Gandhi, 46, alleged that the IGP had deliberately and negligently disregarded a mandamus order issued by the Federal Court in failing to investigate or take appropriate action to return her daughter, Prasana Diksa, who is now 15 years old, to her. — Picture by Farhan Najib
In the suit filed on October 28, 2020, Indira Gandhi, 46, alleged that the IGP had deliberately and negligently disregarded a mandamus order issued by the Federal Court in failing to investigate or take appropriate action to return her daughter, Prasana Diksa, who is now 15 years old, to her. — Picture by Farhan Najib

In February, the High Court is scheduled to hear the suit filed by kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi against the inspector-general of police (IGP) and the government. The suit alleges the failure to arrest her ex-husband and return her abducted daughter who was unilaterally converted into Islam.

MACC officers' alleged gang robbery

On February 5, attention will turn to the case involving three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) enforcement officers accused of gang robbery against a Chinese businessman. Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has claimed a politician and his wife to be the brains behind this gang robbery and asked why the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) had finally charged the three MACC men on December 13 but had not acted against the masterminds he claimed to be a married couple.

Cradle Fund CEO murder appeal and Muhyiddin Yassin's abuse of power charges

Samirah Muzaffar and her lawyer at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, October 17, 2023. — Bernama pic
Samirah Muzaffar and her lawyer at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, October 17, 2023. — Bernama pic

February 8 will see the Court of Appeal deciding on the prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of Samirah Muzaffar and two teenagers charged with murdering Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan five years ago.

Simultaneously, the Court of Appeal is set to hear the prosecution’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to acquit Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin of abuse of power charges involving RM232.5 million.

MARCH

Zahid Hamidi's corruption case and Kevin Morais murder appeal

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur High Court September 4, 2023. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Kuala Lumpur High Court September 4, 2023. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

March 18 marks the Court of Appeal hearing the prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on corruption charges related to a foreign visa system contract.

On September 23 last year, the Shah Alam High Court acquitted and discharged Ahmad Zahid, who is now deputy prime minister, of all the charges after ruling that the prosecution had not made out a prima facie case against him. The prosecution then filed its notice of appeal to the COA.

The Umno president had pleaded not guilty to 33 counts of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM47 million) from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) for himself as home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of a one-stop centre (OSC) service in China and the VLN system, as well as to maintain its contract with the home ministry to supply the VLN integrated system.

Concurrently, March 14 delivers the verdict on the appeal by six men sentenced to death for the murder of Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais eight years ago. The men are former pathologist Col Dr R. Kunaseegaran, 60, money lender S. Ravi Chandaran, 52, and unemployed individuals R. Dinishwaran, 31, A.K. Thinesh Kumar, 30, M. Vishwanath, 33, and S. Nimalan, 30.

On July 10, 2020, the six men were sentenced to death by the Kuala Lumpur High Court after they were found guilty of killing Morais somewhere along Jalan Dutamas Raya Sentul and No. 1, Jalan USJ 1/6D, Subang Jaya, between 7am and 8pm on September 4, 2015.

Wan Saiful's graft trial

Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan was previously charged with 18 counts of money laundering involving RM5.59 million before Judge Suzana Hussin and two charges of soliciting and accepting bribes of RM6.9 million before Rozina. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan was previously charged with 18 counts of money laundering involving RM5.59 million before Judge Suzana Hussin and two charges of soliciting and accepting bribes of RM6.9 million before Rozina. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Former Bersatu information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan is set to begin his graft trial on March 25. Charged with soliciting and accepting bribes related to Jana Wibawa projects, Wan Saiful faces corruption allegations linked to the Central Spine Road project.

Wan Saiful, 48, is charged with soliciting money from Lian Tan Chuan as gratification for him to help Nepturis Sdn Bhd obtain the “Central Spine Road: Sertik to East Coast Expressway junction” project valued at RM232 million from the government of Malaysia via prequalification.

He was also charged with receiving bribes totalling RM6,962,694.54 through a CIMB Bank Berhad account owned by his company WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd from a Maybank Islamic Berhad account owned by Syarikat Nepturis Sdn Bhd as a reward for assisting Nepturis to obtain a Letter of Acceptance for the project.

MAY

Muhyiddin's son-in-law faces charges

Segambut Bersatu division deputy chief Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, October 31, 2023. — Bernama pic
Segambut Bersatu division deputy chief Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, October 31, 2023. — Bernama pic

In May, the son-in-law of former prime minister Muhyiddin, Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad, will face three charges, including soliciting a cash bribe and receiving inducements for a road construction project.

The businessman was charged at the Sessions Court on one count of soliciting a cash bribe of 3.5 to 7 per cent of the project value from Mat Jusoh Mamat, the Managing Director of MIE Infrastructure & Energy Sdn Bhd.

The second count involves receiving RM500,000 into his CIMB Bank account from Mat Jusoh as an inducement to help the company obtain the same letter of agreement for the RM 47.8 million road construction project from Jalan Sungai Adam to Kampung Banat, Perlis.

Suit over Pastor Raymond Koh's disappearance resume

Pastor Raymond Koh's wife Susanna Liew (centre) is seen leaving the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 19, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Pastor Raymond Koh's wife Susanna Liew (centre) is seen leaving the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 19, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

The wife of missing pastor Raymond Koh, Suzanna Liew, resumes her lawsuit against the police, the IGP, and former high-ranking police officers over her husband’s disappearance in May. The lawsuit, filed in 2020, alleges negligence, misfeasance, and conspiracy to injure.

Liew is claiming general and exemplary damages in her lawsuit that accused the respondents of negligence, misfeasance, and conspiracy to injure. She said the respondents’ failure to perform their legal duty violated her constitutional and legal rights as the spouse of the abducted Koh.

JUNE

Violations in controlled goods list and Najib's CBT trial

June will bring charges against Muhammad Faisal Hamzah, son of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, for violations related to the federal government’s list of controlled goods.

Faisal, along with Azizul Abdul Halim, both being directors of Rimba Merpati Sdn Bhd — a wholesale cooking oil licence holder — were charged with allegedly providing false information by producing fake invoices on the purported sale of subsidised cooking oil to a local retail company. The violation is stipulated under Section 8(4) of the Control of Supplies Act 1961. Cooking oil is a controlled item under the Act.

In addition, former prime minister Najib and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah face a criminal breach of trust (CBT) trial involving RM6.64 billion for International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

JULY

Zuraida's appeal against RM10m fine

On June 23, this year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ordered Zuraida to pay RM10 million to PKR after allowing the party’s lawsuit. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
On June 23, this year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ordered Zuraida to pay RM10 million to PKR after allowing the party’s lawsuit. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

In July, the spotlight will turn to former PKR vice-president Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin’s appeal against a High Court decision ordering her to pay RM10 million to the party for breaching the bond binding her.

In the statement of claim, PKR claimed that Zuraida had signed a bond on April 25, 2018, binding her to pay RM10 million to the party as stated in the bond’s terms and conditions.

PKR claimed that Zuraida had agreed to pay the party a sum of RM10 million at the latest seven days, in the event of several incidents, including, after winning the election on a PKR ticket, she resigned from the party or joined other political parties or became an independent elected representative.

Zuraida, in her defence, claimed that she was forced to sign the bond with the party to become its candidate in the 14th general election in 2018.

AUGUST

Anwar Ibrahim's slander suit against Muhyiddin

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at Kuala Lumpur High Court, August 17, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at Kuala Lumpur High Court, August 17, 2023. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

August will unfold with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s suit against Muhyiddin. The suit revolves around an allegedly slanderous speech about Anwar receiving a salary of RM15 million while serving as the Selangor state economic adviser. A nine-day trial is set, starting August 5.

OCTOBER

1MDB's suit against Riza Aziz and Ivana Smit’s death probe

Riza Aziz arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 4, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Riza Aziz arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 4, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

On October 16, the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) lawsuit against Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz the stepson of former prime minister Najib will begin, alleging misappropriation of US$250 million funds for film production and real estate purchase.

The three 1MDB subsidiaries are 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited, 1MDB Energy Limited and 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited. On May 7, 2021, 1MDB and its three subsidiaries sued Riza Shahriz and his two companies for allegedly receiving around US$248 million in funds that they misused for their personal gain, including financing a film and purchasing various properties.

The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that Riza Shahriz is responsible for the misappropriated funds and demand repayment.

Concurrently, the High Court scheduled 18 days to hear a suit filed by the family of deceased Dutch model Ivana Esther Robert Smit. The suit alleges breaches of statutory duties and negligence in the investigation into her death.