KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — High Court Judge Datin Azizah Nawawi today recused herself from hearing the judicial review application filed by Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali to challenge the decision to classify the Auditor-General’s Report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as an official secret.
Azizah made the decision in chambers in the presence of counsel Ganesan Nethi representing Mohamed Azmin and senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan representing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and the Malaysian Government as the respondents.
Speaking to reporters later, Ganesan said the judge made the decision on the grounds that her husband, Datuk Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman, is the Legal Advisor of Selangor.
Shamsul who confirmed this said the court set May 23 for case management before the High Court deputy registrar.
Mohamed Azmin, who is also Gombak MP and PKR deputy president, filed the application on August 15 last year, seeking a declaration that the action of the first respondent, who is the prime minister, in classifying the report on 1MDB as an official secret is an act in conflict of interest.
In his application, Mohamed Azmin also sought a declaration that the classification of the report as official secret by the second respondent (Ambrin) is illegal and ultra vires the Federal Constitution, the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and/or the Audit Act 1957.
In addition, the Selangor mentri besar also sought a mandamus order to compel the respondents, their employees, officers, agents or by any means to immediately reclassify the report on 1MDB according to Section 2C of the OSA 1972 and to publish it to the public.
Mohamed Azmin filed the application on the grounds that the decision to classify the report as an official secret was unconstitutional because it violated Article 107 of the Federal Constitution.
He also claimed that the respondent’s refusal to reclassify the report was unreasonable.
On January 11 this year, the High Court granted Mohamed Azmin’s application to initiate a judicial review to challenge the decision. — Bernama