Public Bank, NFCorp granted leave to appeal Court of Appeal’s ruling

PUTRAJAYA — Public Bank Berhad, which was found liable for breach of confidentiality against the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) and four others, was granted leave by the Federal Court today to proceed with its appeal to set aside the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

A three-member panel led by Justice Datuk Seri Hasnah Mohammed Hashim also granted NFCorp and the four others leave to cross-appeal the appellate court’s decision on the nominal damages awarded in their lawsuit against the bank. 

The suit was filed by NFCorp, its chairman Datuk Mohamad Salleh Ismail (picture), and three of its subsidiaries, namely, National Meat and Livestock Corporation Sdn Bhd, Agroscience Industries Sdn Bhd, and Real Food Company Sdn Bhd.

Mohamad Salleh is the husband of former Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

“We are allowing both applications,” said Justice Hasnah who sat with Justices Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

Each applicant proposed two legal questions for determination by the Federal Court, and Justice Hasnah scheduled May 14 for case management.

On Aug 30, last year, the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal by NFCorp, Mohamad Salleh, and the three subsidiaries to overturn the High Court’s dismissal of their lawsuit.

The Court of Appeal ruled that there was a serious misapprehension of evidence which warranted appellate intervention.

However, the Court of Appeal held that since NFCorp and the four others succeeded in proving liability but failed to prove damages, the court awarded a sum of RM10,000 in nominal damages.

On July 29, 2019, the High Court dismissed the lawsuit they filed in 2012 against Public Bank over a breach of contract to protect the confidentiality of their bank account.

They claimed that the bank breached confidentiality by allowing details of banking transactions to be revealed by the then PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli (now Economy Minister).

They also claimed their business reputation and credibility suffered irreparable loss and damage as a result of the breach under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act. 

Lawyers K.K. Chan, Poh Choo Hoe, and Tiang Min Min represented Public Bank, while lawyers Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Sarah Abishegam represented NFCorp, Mohamad Salleh, and the three subsidiaries. — BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE