PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today dismissed Umno’s bid to strike out a lawsuit filed by SRC International Sdn Bhd and two of its subsidiaries to reclaim RM16 million alleged to have been wrongfully transferred to the party.
A three-member panel, comprising Justices Hadhariah Syed Ismail, Abu Bakar Jais and Mariana Yahya, found that there were no merits in Umno’s appeal.
“This is not a plain and obvious case for striking out,” said Hadhariah, who chaired the panel.
She said there were many issues raised, including breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, misappropriation of trust money and fraudulent use of trust money, which could only be determined through a full trial.
“All the respondents are asking is for the right to be heard,” she said, referring to SRC International and its subsidiaries, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Jendela Pinggiran Sdn Bhd.
She said “if there is any wrong being done, there are ways to make it right”, when affirming the High Court’s dismissal of Umno’s application to strike out the suit on Nov 10 last year.
The panel also struck out Umno’s appeal against the High Court’s decision in allowing SRC International and its subsidiaries to amend the names of the defendants in their writ of summons and statement of claim.
This came after the party’s lawyer, Shahrul Fazli Kamaruzaman, informed the court of the withdrawal of the appeal on that decision.
In its writ of summons, SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran claimed that Umno knew, or ought to have known, that the money belonged to SRC International and they had no basis to receive it.
The companies initially filed the suit naming Umno, which was sued through its president, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and secretary-general, Ahmad Maslan, as defendants.
The High Court, however, allowed the companies’ application to amend the defendants’ names in the writ of summons and statement of claim, replacing Zahid and Ahmad’s names with that of Umno working secretary Sumali Reduan.
On May 10, 2021, the finance ministry confirmed that 1MDB and its subsidiary, SRC International, had filed 22 civil suits to recover assets worth more than RM96.6 billion, including RM300 million from various Malaysian parties.
It said the suits were filed on May 7 last year – six by 1MDB and 16 by SRC International.
Lawyer Nur Syafinaz Vani Abdullah represented SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran.