Zuraida applies to strike out Saifuddin's legal challenge seeking payment of RM10m PKR bond

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 4): Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin has filed an application to strike out a suit by PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail demanding that she pay RM10 million bond for leaving the party last year.

Zuraida filed the striking out application yesterday through the firm Messrs Zharif Nizamuddin Advocates and Solicitors, claiming that Saifuddin's suit stipulates no cause of action and the implementation of the bond is against public policy, the concept of parliamentary democracy and ultra vires (beyond the law) with the freedom of association stipulated under Article 10.

She further argued that the PKR party constitution itself gives freedom to its members to resign without imposing any penalty and the action is meant as PKR's revenge against her especially by party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and it is using the court to get "unjust enrichment".

A copy of the striking out application was sighted by as case management was called before High Court deputy registrar Norhatini Abdul Hamid today.

Norhatini directed Saifuddin to reply to Zuraida's striking out application by March 4 and fixed April 1 for case management.

Zuraida's lawyer Muhammad Nizamuddin Abdul Hamid, who appeared with Nurul Najwa Zainuddin, confirmed the outcome of today's case management. Lawyer Chew Choon Man appeared for Saifuddin.

She further claimed that PKR's action against her through Saifuddin is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.

Prior to this, the minister at the end of last year filed her defence to the suit and claimed that the agreement that bonded her to the party was unconstitutional as it violated her right to freedom of association.

Saifuddin on Sept 28 initially filed the suit via law firm Messrs William Leong & Co against Zuraida to claim for her to pay the party RM10 million based on established terms and conditions of the agreement in the bond.

According to news reports, the terms and conditions of the bond include the defendant agreeing to pay the party RM10 million no later than seven days upon her resignation from PKR, joining any other political party or being an independent elected representative after Zuraida won the election on a PKR ticket.

Besides the RM10 million, PKR is seeking from Zuraida RM2.049 million, the remuneration she received while being a PKR member of Parliament (MP) and a minister under the previous Pakatan Harapan administration.

She has since joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia along with 10 other PKR MPs, who are now part of the Perikatan Nasional government.

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