Court rules that Pua failed to plead par­tic­u­lars of mis­fea­sance in case

New Straits Times - - Front Page - KHAIRAH N. KARIM KUALA LUMPUR

THE suit brought by Pe­tal­ing Jaya Utara mem­ber of par­lia­ment Tony Pua against Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and the gov­ern­ment on the 1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Bhd (1MDB) is­sue was struck out by the High Court yes­ter­day.

In her judg­ment, ju­di­cial com­mis­sioner Datin Faizah Ja­maludin said Na­jib did not com­mit the tort of mis­fea­sance in pub­lic of­fice, which tar­geted mal­ice to the plain­tiff (Pua).

Faizah held that Pua had failed to plead the par­tic­u­lars of mis­fea­sance in his claim, which made it highly spec­u­la­tive.

“The court finds that the plain­tiff has not es­tab­lished on the face of his plead­ings that he has suf­fi­cient le­gal rights or in­ter­est to bring a claim against the first de­fen­dant (Na­jib) for tort of mis­fea­sance in pub­lic of­fice.

“Monies used by the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance In­cor­po­rated to sub­scribe to the shares of 1MDB does not, in it­self, amount to dis­si­pa­tion or mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of tax­pay­ers’ monies.

“This is es­pe­cially so given that 1MDB is a Fi­nance Min­istry owned com­pany and the share­hold­ers sub­scrib­ing for shares is in the nor­mal course of busi­ness,” she said, or­der­ing Pua to pay RM10,000 as costs.

The court also found that Pua’s claims that his tax­payer’s money will be used in the fu­ture to hon­our the guar­an­tees and as­sur­ances given by the gov­ern­ment for the 1MDB bonds were not sup­ported by his plead­ings and too re­mote in law to ac­cord him any le­gal rights or cause of ac­tion.

Faizah, af­ter al­low­ing Na­jib’s ap­pli­ca­tion, held that the prime min­is­ter and the fi­nance min­is­ter were not pub­lic of­fi­cers.

“I’m also bound by the Court of Ap­peal’s de­ci­sion which ruled that the prime min­is­ter and the min­is­ter of fi­nance can­not be sued,” she said, adding that Pua’s ac­tion in fil­ing the suit was an abuse of the court’s process and was un­sus­tain­able as it had no rea­son­able cause of ac­tion.

“This court finds that the plain­tiff, as a tax­payer, would not be able to es­tab­lish the nec­es­sary causal link that he suf­fered the loss and dam­age claimed or that the de­fen­dant’s acts caused those losses,” she said.

Lawyer Tan Sri Ce­cil Abra­ham ap­peared for Na­jib while Gobind Singh Deo rep­re­sented Pua.

Na­jib filed the ap­pli­ca­tion to strike out Pua’s suit on Feb 14 on grounds that he was not a civil ser­vant as al­leged by Pua in his state­ment of claim, and that the suit was an abuse of the court process.

The gov­ern­ment filed its ap­pli­ca­tion to strike out the suit on March 2 on grounds that Pua had no lo­cus standi to make the claim and that the suit was friv­o­lous, vex­a­tious and did not dis­close a rea­son­able cause of ac­tion.

Pua sued the gov­ern­ment and Na­jib on Jan 16 claim­ing that the lat­ter com­mit­ted mis­fea­sance in pub­lic of­fice in­volv­ing 1MDB funds.

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