KUALA LUMPUR – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today applied to recuse High Court judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi from hearing his lawsuit to nullify the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s (RCI) findings on Bank Negara’s foreign exchange losses in the 1990s.
His lawyer, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said the application was made on grounds that Azizah had previously heard another RCI-related case, which was on Dr Mahathir’s application for leave for judicial review on the appointment of two of the RCI members.
Azizah, had on Aug 17 last year, dismissed Dr Mahathir’s application to revoke the appointment of Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon, as the RCI chairman and member, respectively.
“In an application prior to this, the government submitted its objection and it was heard by and decided by the same judge (Azizah).
“In fact, the issue raised today by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to dismiss the originating summons filed by my client is similar with the application for leave for the judicial review,” he said when met by by reporters after today;s proceeding, which was held in chambers.
Also present during the proceeding was federal senior counsel Shamsul Bolhassan.
Today was fixed for hearing of the AGC’s application to strike out the originating summons by Dr Mahathir, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman, on grounds that he had no reasonable cause of action to file for such an action and that the court could not take action against the commission.
Mohamed Haniff said the court set May 17 for the decision on the judge’s recusal.
In December 2017, Dr Mahathir filed a suit, seeking to declare the report by RCI on Bank Negara Malaysia’s forex trading losses as null and void as it excluded legal documents of witnesses and notes of proceedings
He named the RCI members – Mohd Sidek, Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, Saw, K.Pushpanathanan, Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail –, as well as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the cabinet members and the government, as defendants.
In the suit, Mahahthir is seeking to declare the RCI’s report on the Bank Negara’s losses due to forex trading in the 1990s was illegal, incomplete and defective as it lacked proceeding notes, and written and oral submissions through transcription or video recording.
He is also seeking a declaration that any report by a Royal Commission of Inquiry set up Commission of Enquiry Act 1950 would only be legal and in order if it had all the written statements by the witnesses who testified in the proceeding, the proceeding notes, the submissions, and the findings. – BERNAMA