PM Najib applies to strike out Mahathir lawsuit

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (right) has filed an application to strike out a lawsuit filed last month by former premier Mahathir Mohamad (left).
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (right) has filed an application to strike out a lawsuit filed last month by former premier Mahathir Mohamad (left).PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has filed an application to strike out a lawsuit filed last month by former premier Mahathir Mohamad and two others alleging corruption and abuse of power.

Lawyer Wan Azmir Wan Majid, representing Datuk Seri Najib, yesterday said the suit filed by Tun Dr Mahathir and two former members of the ruling United Malays National Organisation was "frivolous and vexatious", according to Bernama news agency.

He said Mr Najib filed the application on the grounds that there was no element of misfeasance, as claimed by the plaintiffs. The application will be heard in the High Court on June 23.

Dr Mahathir's lawsuit had accused Mr Najib of interfering in several probes into debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

On Tuesday, the former premier applied for a court order to freeze Mr Najib's assets. He also sought a court order for Mr Najib to disclose all assets held under his name as well as under the names of his nominees.

Separately, opposition politician Tony Pua said yesterday that two lines deleted from the Public Accounts Committee's (PAC's) final report on 1MDB, which was released earlier this month, were crucial to the investigation, reported Malaysiakini news portal.

Mr Pua and other opposition members of the parliamentary panel accused PAC chairman Hasan Arifin of editing the report without the knowledge or approval of other members.

The lines concerned Bank Negara's information that Good Star Ltd was owned by an individual and not linked to the PetroSaudi group, as claimed by 1MDB.

Mr Pua said the deleted parts "proved that Good Star Ltd is not owned by PetroSaudi group and a misappropriation of funds amounting to US$700 million (S$938 million) has happened". He urged the PAC to reconvene and reopen its investigation into 1MDB.

Mr Hasan has admitted to editing the 1MDB report but played down the importance of the deleted parts, claiming they did not in any way affect it. In a statement to Bernama, he said the sentences were deleted because of their unclear status, or because the matter was under investigation and not for public consumption.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2016, with the headline 'PM Najib applies to strike out Mahathir lawsuit'. Print Edition | Subscribe