KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — An individual has filed a suit against the prime minister and the government of Malaysia seeking a written explanation regarding the withdrawal of the review application over the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision that Singapore has sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh.
In 2018, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government under the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad withdrew an application to overturn ICJ’s ruling awarding legal jurisdiction of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore before the case was scheduled to be heard on June 11, 2018.
The suit was filed by Mohd Hatta Sanuri, 45, as the plaintiff on May 28 in the High Court here through Messrs Mohaji, Hazury & Ismail, naming the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the government as the first and second defendants.
Mohd Hatta filed the suit on his behalf and on behalf of the more than 32 million Malaysians affected by the withdrawal of the review application, without discussing and tabling it first in Parliament.
In his statement of claim, Mohd Hatta sought an order for the defendants to provide a written explanation as to why they had withdrawn from the review of the ICJ’s decision on June 1, 2018, when a review application with strong evidence had been initiated and filed since February 3, 2017.
The plaintiff also sought a declaration that the defendants were negligent, committed treason, fraud and breach of trust against all Malaysians including the plaintiff when they dropped the review bid.
He also sought a declaration for the two defendants to pay compensation to each Malaysian based on the land value of Pulau Batu Puteh and based on the economic losses suffered by all Malaysians including the plaintiff, equally, amounting to at least RM10 million each.
An order was also sought for both defendants to disclose in detail the total cost incurred by the second defendant (government) for the preparation of the ICJ decision review application on February 3, 2017, until the defendants abruptly withdrew the application on June 1, 2018.
Mohd Hatta claimed that fraud was committed and facts concealed by the second defendant regarding the decision to withdraw from the trial at the ICJ which was set for two weeks starting June 11, 2018.
The plaintiff claimed that until now reasons for the withdrawal were unclear, adding that both defendants did not provide any explanation despite new evidence in favour of the country in its claim over Pulau Batu Puteh.
The case was set for case management today before Deputy Registrar Nor Afidah Idris who later fixed September 23 to hear the defendants’ application for an extension of time to file a statement of defence. — Bernama