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Settlement reached in ex-AG Apandi’s suit against Mahathir, govt

The government agreed to settle the case without admission of liability, and the suit was dismissed without the freedom to re-file.

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The suit filed by Mohamed Apandi Ali against former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Malaysian government over the termination of his contract as attorney-general (AG) has been settled amicably at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Counsel Baljit Singh Sidhu, who represented Apandi as the plaintiff in the suit, however, said the terms of the settlement could not be disclosed.

“Without prejudice, the government has agreed to settle the case without any admission of liability. The suit was dismissed without the freedom to re-file and without any order as to costs,” he told reporters after the case proceedings before judge Akhtar Tahir via video conferencing today.

The proceedings were joined by two other lawyers of Apandi, namely Abdul Shukor Ahmad and Nor Shahadah Saari, while senior federal counsel Donald Joseph Franklin represented Mahathir and the government.

The court had previously set April 18, 20, 21 and 22 for the hearing of the suit.

On Oct 13, 2020, Apandi had filed the suit naming Mahathir and the government as the first and second defendants respectively, seeking, among others, a declaration that the termination of his contract as AG by the former prime minister was invalid.

In his statement of claim, Apandi, who was a Federal Court judge before being appointed AG in 2015, also sought a declaration that Mahathir had abused his position as prime minister when Pakatan Harapan was in power from May 2018 to February 2020, and had caused a breach of contract between him and the government.

He also sought a declaration that there was a failure to comply with Article 145 of the Federal Constitution in his dismissal and that his sacking as AG was unlawful, and therefore invalid.

Apandi had sought RM2,233,599.36 in special, general and exemplary damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

In their statement of defence filed on Nov 12, 2020, the two defendants asserted that the act of terminating Apandi’s contract of service as AG was valid and in accordance with the provisions of the law, and that there was no abuse of power by Mahathir in the matter.

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