Sulaiman vs Raghad: Taib yet to make representation to Sarawak Attorney-General’s Chambers

The court complex in Kuching.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Dec 6: Sarawak Governor Tun Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud has yet to make a representation to the Sarawak Attorney-General’s Chambers (SAG) on the constitutional complications arise following application by the plaintiff’s counsel to enjoin Taib as the third defendant in a suit involving his family members.

The suit was brought by Taib’s sons Dato Sri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib and Dato Sri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib against Taib’s wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib and RHB Investment Bank Berhad over the disposal injunction placed on Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) shares.

In the Kuching High Court today, Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew questioned defence lawyer Alvin Yong on Taib’s subsequent action during the case mention.

Yong replied that the defence counsel has not received any further instruction on the matter.

In response, Siew expressed that it would be useful if there is instruction from Taib whether he will make the representation to the SAG and the stance of SAG on the matter should the representation be made.

The plaintiff’s counsel Alvin Chong has filed an affidavit to enjoin Taib as the third defendant, apart from naming Raghad as the first defendant and RHB Investment Berhad as the second defendant.

During the Nov 9 case mention, the then lead defence counsel Shankar Ram Asnani pointed out that there are “serious constitutional issues” should Taib, who is the Head of State, be included as the third defendant in the suit.

Shankar Ram said “no proceedings may be brought against the Governor in his personal capacity except in the Special Court established under the Federal Constitution (with the Chief Justice as one of the presiding judges)”.

He further pointed out that the plaintiffs have also not sought the consent of the Attorney-General of Malaysia personally to institute proceedings against the Governor, apart from the constitutional position of the Governor under Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution relating to assets and properties of Muslims.

Shankar Ram was supported by the defence counsel for the second defendant RHB Investment Bank Berhad, Tan Kee Heng who cited Articles 181 to 183 of the Federal Constitution, stating that “a case concerning the ruler of a state in his personal capacity shall only be vested in the special court under the Federal Constitution and not any other court in Malaysia”. — DayakDaily