Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others today filed their appeal against a High Court decision to strike out their suit against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Last Friday, Justice Abu Bakar Jais had ruled that the suit – which seeks to recover RM2.642 billion from Najib – was defective on grounds that the latter was not a public officer but a member of the administration.
The two other applicants are Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Anina Saadudin. The notice was filed by the firm of Messrs Haniff Khatri today.
Previously, Mahathir had publicly stated that the judgment was wrong because Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was facing a corruption trial as a public officer but the same title did not apply to Najib.
Justice Abu Bakar had said the court was bound by the Federal Constitution and the Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967. He cited Article 132(1) of the constitution (which states that public services comprise the armed forces, the judicial and legal service, the general public service of the federation, the police force, the education service, the joint public services and public services of each state) to prove his point that Najib was not a member of those in public services.
“Article 132(3) of the Federal Constitution lists down the offices that are to be excluded as public services, one of which is the office of any member of the administration in the federation or a state.
“And who is the member of administration? It includes the defendant (Najib) by virtue of Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution, where a minister includes the PM as seen in the definition of ‘minister’ in the Interpretations Act,” he reasoned in his 31-page judgment.
Criticisms of Justice Abu Bakar’s judgment had also been reported, with former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram saying that the ruling was wrong as wrong could be.