Court of Appeal dismisses Terengganu royalty’s bid
PUTRAJAYA: Terengganu royalty Tengku Sulaiman Tengku Abdul Halim yesterday lost in his bid to claim his right to the throne as the Sultan of Terengganu.
This was following the decision of a three-man Court of Appeal bench, led by judge Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, which dismissed Tengku Sulaiman’s appeal.
In its unanimous decision, the court was of the view that the matter had been adjudicated and therefore may not be pursued further.
“We are of a unanimous view that this appeal is dismissed. We agree with the respondent’s submissions on the issue of res judicata and justiciability. We affirm the High Court’s decision,” Abang Iskandar said.
Res judicata means a matter has been adjudicated by a competent court and may not be pursued further by the same parties.
Tengku Sulaiman, 60, who claimed that he was the direct descendant of Tengku Ali AlMarhum Sultan Sulaiman, was appealing against the Kuala Terengganu High Court, which struck out his claim on Dec 21 last year.
In his statement of claim, he said Tengku Ali, who was his grandfather, was installed as the Sultan of Terengganu following the death of Tengku Ali’s father, Al-Marhum Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah Al-Marhum Sultan Zainal Abidin III.
However, after Tengku Ali was deposed on Nov 5, 1945, by the Jemaah Pangkuan Negeri Terengganu, now known as Dewan Pangkuan Diraja Terengganu (the appointing authority), his uncle, Al-Marhum Tengku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah AlMarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin III, was appointed Sultan of Terengganu.
Tengku Sulaiman claimed that at that time, Tengku Ali had an 11year-old son named Tengku Abdul Halim (Tengku Sulaiman’s father), who was supposed to replace Tengku Ali as the Sultan of Terengganu.
He filed the suit on May 3 last year at the Kuala Terengganu High Court and had sought a declaration that he was entitled to the throne as the rightful Sultan of Terengganu.
The suit was dismissed.
Lawyer T. Mura Raju represented Tengku Sulaiman while Tan Sri Cecil Abraham acted for Yang di-Pertuan Muda Terengganu Tengku Muhammad Ismail Ibni Al-Wathiqu Billah Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin; Isa @ Ghazali Endut; Tengku Ibrahim Tengku Hussain; Syed Omar Abdul Kadir Al-Idrus; and Shaikh Harun Shaikh Ismail, who were members of the appointing authority at that time, and the Terengganu government, all named as respondents.
Tengku Sulaiman Tengku Abdul Halim (centre) with his uncle Syed Abd Aziz Syed Hamzah (left) and lawyer T. Mura Raju at the Kuala Terengganu High Court last year.