by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by TMR FILE
THE High Court fixed Aug 7 for deciding on an application by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and three others to strike out a suit by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over their removal from the political party.
Judge Rohani Ismail set the date after hearing submissions by both sides in a chamber session yesterday.
Muhyiddin and the other three defendants — Bersatu secretary general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, Bersatu organising secretary Capt (Rtd) Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya and Registrar of Societies DG Masyati Abang Ibrahim — are seeking to strike out a legal challenge filed by Dr Mahathir, his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Datuk Marzuki Yahya, Dr Maszlee Malik and Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah to maintain the status quo of their party membership.
Outside the court, the defendants’ legal counsel Rosli Dahlan said they seek to strike out the entire suit based on provisions under Section 18C of the Societies Act 1966, among others.
Section 18C states that the decision of a political party or any person authorised by it or by its constitution or rules or regulations made there under on the interpretation of its constitution, rules or regulations or on any matter relating to the affairs of the party, shall be final and conclusive and such decision shall not be challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed, or called in question in any court on any ground.
Also, no court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or determine any suit, application, question, or proceeding on any ground regarding the validity of such a decision.
Meanwhile, the plaintiffs’ counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said outside the court that should the strike-out application by Muhyiddin and the three others fail on Aug 7, the court will deliver on the same day a ruling on whether to grant Dr Mahathir and company’s application for an interim injunction to maintain the status quo as members of Bersatu.
Mohamed Haniff also confirmed that Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (picture) has withdrawn as a plaintiff from the main suit.
“In this suit, Syed Saddiq is no longer a party, hence whatever applications heard earlier, filed for and on his behalf are no longer pending for him and is only pending for the others.
“His withdrawal does not bear any effect on the applications made by the other plaintiffs because this matter can be a standalone case,” the lawyer said.
He added that Syed Saddiq’s withdrawal did not suggest the belief that his removal from Bersatu was lawful.
“He is still maintaining that it is improper, but he does not want to do it through the courts,” Mohamed Haniff said.
On Tuesday, Syed Saddiq said in a statement that he was withdrawing his civil suit challenging his sacking from Bersatu.
“If you want the party, then take it. If you want to throw my membership number, then do so. I will not delay your efforts,” he said in a Facebook posting.