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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Gombak voters turn to Federal Court to restore suit against Azmin


The 10 Gombak voters allege that they had been deceived to vote for Azmin Ali as their MP.

PUTRAJAYA: Ten voters who filed a lawsuit against Gombak MP Azmin Ali for alleged breach of fiduciary duty have gone to the Federal Court to set aside a Court of Appeal decision to strike out their legal challenge.

Lawyer N Yohendra said the 10 filed nine questions of law two days ago to obtain leave from the apex court to hear the merit of their appeal.

Applicants must satisfy the court by framing novel legal and constitutional questions that are of public importance and raised for the first time as required under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act.

Among the questions sighted by FMT was whether an action for deceit or breach of fiduciary duties can be maintained by voters against an MP or assemblyman elected by voters.

Another question was whether an elected representative’s rights to freedom of association under the Federal Constitution were subject to his fiduciary duties to the voters.

On April 13, a three-member Court of Appeal panel chaired by Yaacob Md Sam allowed Azmin’s application to strike out the suit as there was an appealable error.

“Based on settled law, we find that the respondents’ (voters’) action is obviously unsustainable and bound to fail. There is no necessity for this suit to go on a full trial,” Yaacob had said.

The other judges on the panel were Lee Heng Cheong and Hashim Hamzah.

Last year, the High Court rejected Azmin’s application to strike out the suit by the 10.

The voters claimed that Azmin made a representation that he was standing in the 2018 general election to oust Barisan Nasional (BN) and to “free Malaysia of corrupt officials”.

They said that during the election campaign, Azmin told his constituents to “vote for PKR to ensure a competent and stable government”.

“The representations were merely to deceive the voters to support and vote for him so (that) he can be an MP,” they said.

They also said Azmin caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in 2020 and joined the Perikatan Nasional administration, which included BN, and persons he himself had acknowledged were “credibly accused of corrupt practices”.

Azmin is currently the international trade and industry minister in Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Cabinet. He is also a Bersatu Supreme Council member. - FMT

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