‘There is no dan­ger of bias to re­cuse me’

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By MAIZATUL NAZLINA nazlina@thes­tar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: The High

Court will pro­ceed with the hear­ing of a suit over Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad linked to

Bank Ne­gara’s for­eign ex­change losses, fol­low­ing its dis­missal of his ap­pli­ca­tion to re­cuse the judge from hear­ing his case.

Jus­tice Az­izah Nawawi (pic) dis­missed the Prime Min­is­ter’s ap­pli­ca­tion to re­cuse her, say­ing that Dr Ma­hathir, who is the plaintiff, should show that there was a real dan­ger of bias and not just a rea­son­able sus­pi­cion of bias on the part of the court to hear the case.

Dr Ma­hathir is seek­ing to de­clare that the Royal Com­mis­sion of In­quiry’s (RCI) re­port on Bank Ne­gara’s for­eign ex­change losses was null and void.

Jus­tice Az­izah said that the “real dan­ger of bias” had not been made out as the sub­ject mat­ter of the case was dif­fer­ent from the first RCI-1 case.

The RCI-1 case filed by Dr Ma­hathir was to dis­qual­ify Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Has­san and Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon from be­ing panel mem­bers in the RCI pro­ceed­ings.

She said in the RCI-1 case, the sub­ject mat­ter was on RCI’s com­po­si­tion of mem­bers.

“The pre­sent ap­pli­ca­tion is to chal­lenge the find­ings of the RCI for fail­ing to in­clude in the re­port the en­tire notes of pro­ceed­ings in­clud­ing oral tes­ti­monies of the wit­nesses, all ap­pli­ca­tions made by the par­ties (writ­ten or oral) and the en­tire submissions of the par­ties.

“This court is mind­ful of the dan­gers in ab­di­cat­ing its ju­di­cial func­tion and du­ties if it is to sim­ply al­low any ap­pli­ca­tion for a re­cusal.

“I will dis­miss the ap­pli­ca­tion for re­cusal with no or­der as to costs,” she said yes­ter­day.

Dr Ma­hathir had sought to re­cuse Jus­tice Az­izah on the grounds that the judge had pre­vi­ously heard a suit filed by him in­volv­ing the same sub­ject.

In the orig­i­nat­ing sum­mons filed on Dec 19 last year, Dr Ma­hathir said the re­port was il­le­gal, in­com­plete and de­fec­tive as it lacked pro­ceed­ing notes, and writ­ten and oral submissions through tran­scrip­tions or video record­ings.

The suit also sought to de­clare any re­port by any RCI es­tab­lished un­der the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry Act as le­gal and in or­der only if they had all the writ­ten state­ments by the wit­nesses who tes­ti­fied in the pro­ceed­ing, the pro­ceed­ing notes, the submissions and the find­ings.

Among oth­ers, the suit named Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Has­san, Datuk Ka­maludin Md Said, Datuk Seri Ta­jud­din Atan, Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon, S.A.K. Push­panathan, RCI sec­re­tary Datuk Dr Yu­sof Is­mail, Datuk Seri Na­jib Tun Razak and the Gov­ern­ment as de­fen­dants.

On Oct 13 last year, Mohd Sidek, who was the RCI chair­man, pre­sented the RCI find­ings on Bank Ne­gara’s forex trad­ing losses to Yang di-Per­tuan Agong Sul­tan Muham­mad V dur­ing a meet­ing.

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