Nov 15 hearing for Mohd Hatta’s appeal to reinstate suit on Pulau Batu Puteh claim

PUTRAJAYA – The Court of Appeal has fixed Nov 15 to hear an appeal brought by an individual to reinstate his suit in connection with the withdrawal of a review application over the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision on the Pulau Batu Puteh claim.

The court will also hear on the same day Mohd Hatta Sanuri’s appeal against a High Court decision on Jan 30 last year to allow the application by the Prime Minister and Government of Malaysia for a protection order for the documents in the suit not to be disclosed to parties not involved in the case.

The deputy head of the Civil Division II at the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Shamsul Bolhassan, confirmed the hearing date when contacted by Bernama.

The parties involved are also required to submit their respective submissions by Oct 18 and reply submissions by Oct 31. Another case management is fixed for Nov 1.

The dates were fixed following a case management held yesterday before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Norshakinah Ahmad Kamarudin.

On July 1 last year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur struck out Mohd Hatta’s suit after allowing an application by the Prime Minister and the government.

High Court judge Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz held that the subject matter was non-justiciable and Mohd Hatta also did not have locus standi (legal standing) to bring the legal action against the Prime Minister and the government.

In 2018, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government under the leadership of then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad withdrew an application to overturn ICJ’s ruling awarding legal jurisdiction of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore even before the hearing of the case, which was scheduled on June 11, 2018.

On May 28, 2021, Mohd Hatta filed the suit on his behalf and on behalf of the more than 32 million Malaysians allegedly affected by the withdrawal of the review application, which was made without discussing and tabling it first in Parliament.

In his statement of claim, Mohd Hatta is seeking an order for the government to provide a written explanation on why they had withdrawn from the review of the ICJ’s decision on June 1, 2018, when a review application with strong evidence had been initiated and filed since Feb 3, 2017.

He is also seeking a declaration for the Prime Minister and the government to pay compensation to each Malaysian based on the land value of Pulau Batu Puteh and based on the economic losses suffered by all Malaysians including him (Mohd Hatta) equally, amounting to at least RM10 million each.

An order is also sought for both the Prime Minister and the government to disclose in detail the total cost incurred by the second defendant (government) for the preparation of the ICJ decision review application on Feb 3, 2017, until they abruptly withdrew the application on June 1, 2018.

When Mohd Hatta filed the suit, the premiership was held by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. However, after he stepped down, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was appointed as the ninth prime minister. – Bernama