Malaysia's High Court strikes out opposition MP Tony Pua's suit against PM Najib

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian High Court has allowed Prime Minister Najib Razak's application to strike out opposition MP Tony Pua's suit over alleged misconduct in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds.

Judicial Commissioner Faizah Jamaludin ruled that the Prime Minister is not a public officer, and thus did not hold public office.

She also found Pua lacked locus standi (the right to bring an action) as a taxpayer does not have the direct right to property belonging to a government-linked company in the same way a stockholder owns stocks in a company, though not its properties directly.

JC Faizah struck out the suit, as per Order 18 Rule 19 (1) of the Rules of High Court, and ordered Pua pay RM5,000 (S$1,606) in costs each, to Najib and the government.

Pua's counsel Gobind Singh Deo told reporters his client was awaiting instructions on whether to appeal.

Najib was represented by lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham, while senior federal counsel Alice Loke acted for the government.

Najib filed the application to strike out Pua's suit on Feb 14, on grounds that he is not a civil servant as alleged by Pua in his statement of claim, and that the suit is also an abuse of the court process.

The government also filed an application to strike out the suit on March 2 on the grounds that Pua has no locus standi to make the claim and that the suit is frivolous, vexatious and does not disclose a reasonable cause of action.

Pua sued the government and Najib on Jan 16 claiming that the PM committed misfeasance in public office involving 1MDB funds.