PETALING JAYA: Former Umno leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan today explained his decision to withdraw two suits associated with state investment firm 1MDB, saying he did so as Barisan Nasional (BN) and Najib Razak had been removed from office.
“On my part, the suits have become academic,” he said, adding that the withdrawals were based on sound legal principles.
He told FMT there had been much confusion about his decision after the court last week struck out the suits related to the pink diamond and the order to compel Najib, the former prime minister, and his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to uphold their oath of office.
The first suit was filed in August last year against 1MDB, businessman Low Taek Jho and Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor over the return of a 22-carat pink diamond necklace set worth some RM115 million. The jewellery was allegedly bought with funds belonging to the state investor.
Khairuddin said he had filed the suit because no action would have been taken by 1MDB to recover the jewellery as long as Najib was in power.
However, he added, the political landscape had changed after the historic May 9 general election when Pakatan Harapan, led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, swept to power.
“Moreover, 1MDB has now decided to take action on behalf of the taxpayers and the Malaysian public,” he said.
He said 1MDB’s new legal firm had also written to his lawyers for the withdrawal of the suit so that they could initiate court proceedings.
“It is proper for me to accept the request of 1MDB’s lawyers so that they can proceed to recover the pink diamond from Rosmah,” he added.
The second suit meanwhile was filed in September last year, when Khairuddin sued Najib and Zahid for allegedly violating their constitutional oath by misleading the public on the issue of the RM2.6 billion donation deposited into Najib’s personal account.
Khairuddin said the court may have granted the declaration sought by him, but the order could not be enforced as Najib and Zahid were no longer in power.
“The people of Malaysia decided they had had enough of BN and Najib, resulting in the installation of a new government,” he said.