DR Mahathir Mohamad has expressed disappointment over today’s Federal Court ruling that Prime Minister Najib Razak is not a public officer, and therefore, is immune from a suit over alleged misfeasance in public office.
The former prime minister’s appeal for leave was dismissed this morning by a three-man bench chaired by Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif, who affirmed the decisions of the Court of Appeal and high court.
“I don’t understand (the decision). He is a public officer, otherwise, he wouldn’t be where he is because whatever he does involves the government and involves the public.
“I’m very upset at the decision,” Dr Mahathir told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
To a question, Dr Mahathir responded: “Who is the judge? I have my doubts about the legality of his position. I feel he should not listen to this case.”
Dr Mahathir had earlier applied for Raus to recuse himself from the case, as the Pakatan Harapan chairman had filed for a judicial review in September last year, challenging the constitutionality of Raus’ appointment as chief justice.
Today, Raus ruled that Dr Mahathir’s appeal did not have merit and failed to meet the requirements set by Section 96 of the Courts of the Judicature Act.
Dr Mahathir and former Batu Kawan Umno division leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan had filed the suit in March 2016, seeking a declaration that Najib had committed the tort of misfeasance, or wrongful exercise of lawful authority, as well as a breach of fiduciary duty in public office.
Dr Mahathir also commented on DAP leader Tony Pua’s failed interim injunction appeal on February 14, when the Court of Appeal took judicial notice that Najib did not commit any wrongdoing with regard to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.
Justice Yaacob Md Sam said the prime minister had been cleared by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), attorney-general, police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Bank Negara Malaysia.
“The evidence regarding 1MDB has not been shown to the courts and the public,” Dr Mahathir told reporters today.
“The public wants to know. There are three reports against Najib on 1MDB, by Bank Negara, MACC and also PAC.
“Why are these reports hidden? Criminal action by any government officer does not constitute an official secret. Official secrets are not about criminal acts.
“So, it is wrong to put these three reports under the Official Secrets Act. It’s a case of hiding, and if you hide evidence of a crime, you are committing a crime.”
Dr Mahathir’s lawyer, Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said an application for a review of today’s Federal Court decision would be filed soon.
“In the application of leave, we just have to show there’s a constitutional issue. Whether there’s a legal issue for the Federal Court to determine an order for us to get leave, that’s to be determined at the appeal stage.
“You’re not supposed to decide now. I would say the Federal Court has failed to apply the correct principles in determining whether leave is to be granted or not.”
Dr Mahathir and Khairuddin were ordered by Raus to pay RM20,000 in costs to Najib.