Apex court strikes out Sabahans’ leave to appeal in suit against Hadi Awang

PUTRAJAYA – The Federal Court here today struck out an application by two Sabahans to get leave to appeal to reinstate a lawsuit against PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (picture) for alleged seditious remarks.

A three-member bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah held that the application by Maklin Masiau and Lawrence Jomiji Kinsil @ Maximilhian was not supported with a valid and proper affidavit as it was not affirmed before a commissioner of oath.

“Therefore, there is no competent application before us,” said Justice Mohamad Zabidin, who sat with Federal Court judges Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal.

Justice Mohamad Zabidin, who delivered the court’s unanimous in an online proceeding, struck out the application with no order as to costs.

The Sabahans had filed the suit against Abdul Hadi in December 2020, seeking declarations that the PAS leader had committed sedition and was unfit to hold public office. 

They claimed that Abdul Hadi had made a seditious statement against Christians and Christian missionaries which was published in Harakah newspaper on Jan 18, 2016.

On May 7, 2021, High Court judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir allowed Abdul Hadi’s application to strike out the suit filed by the two men, who then lost their appeal which was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Aug 16 last year.

The court was supposed to hear their application for leave to appeal today, but Abdul Hadi’s lawyer, Yusfarizal Yussoff, raised a preliminary objection saying that there was no valid affidavit to support the application.

He said sufficient time had been given to the applicants, since Oct last year, to take steps to rectify the matter, adding that they should not be given another chance to get the affidavit affirmed.

 Yusfarizal, assisted by lawyer Adam Luqman Amdan, also said there was no application made by the applicants to seek leave of the court to use the defective affidavit.

Lawyer R. Kengadharan, representing Maklin and Lawrence, said his clients, who were residing in Labuan, Sabah, merely signed the document without affirming it before a commissioner of oath.

He told the court that attempts to get in touch with Maklin to affirm the affidavit were unsuccessful and requested the court to give him another chance to get the affidavit affirmed. – Bernama