Court dismisses UMNO’s appeal to strike out suit filed by SRC International

PUTRAJAYA – The Court of Appeal here today dismissed UMNO’s appeal to strike out a lawsuit filed against the political party by SRC International Sdn Bhd and two of its subsidiaries to reclaim RM16 million which was allegedly wrongfully transferred by the company to the party.

A three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya found that there were no merits in UMNO’s appeal.

“This is not a plain and obvious case for striking out,” said Justice Hadhariah who chaired the panel.

She said there were many issues raised in the pleadings including breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, misappropriation of trust money, and fraudulent of trust money which could only be determined through a full trial.

“All the respondents (SRC International, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Jendela Pinggiran Sdn Bhd) are asking is the right to be heard,” she said, adding that if there is any wrong being done, there are ways to make it right. 

Justice Hadhariah affirmed the High Court’s dismissal of UMNO’s application to strike out the suit on Nov 10 last year.

Meanwhile, the panel also struck out UMNO’s appeal against the High Court’s decision in allowing SRC International and its subsidiaries to amend the names of the defendants in their writ of summons and statement of claim after UMNO’s lawyer Shahrul Fazli Kamaruzaman informed the court of the withdrawal of the appeal on that decision.

In its writ of summons, the SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran claimed that UMNO knew, or ought to have known, that the monies belonged to SRC International and they had no basis to receive the funds.

The companies initially filed the suit naming UMNO, which was sued through its President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and its secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan as defendants.

The High Court, however, allowed the companies’ application to amend the defendants’ names in the writ of summons and statement of claim replacing Ahmad Zahid and Ahmad Mazlan with UMNO working secretary Datuk Mohd Sumali Reduan. 

On May 10, 2021, the Finance Ministry confirmed that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd, had filed 22 civil suits to seek its assets of over RM96.6 billion, including RM300 million from various local parties.

It said the suits were filed on May 7, last year, six by 1MDB and 16 by SRC.

Lawyer Nur Syafinaz Vani Abdullah represented SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran. – Bernama