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Zahid wins bid for permanent return of passport

A three-man Court of Appeal bench rules in favour of the deputy prime minister's application.

Staff Writers
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Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Photo: Bernama
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Photo: Bernama

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today succeeded in his bid for the permanent return of his passport, with the Court of Appeal giving him the green light for international and diplomatic passports for the purpose of carrying out his official duties abroad. 

A three-man bench chaired by judge Hanipah Farikullah unanimously allowed Zahid's application, filed after the High Court on Feb 3 rejected his bid for the permanent return of his travel document, Berita Harian reported. 

Hanipah, who sat with judges Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Lim Chong Fong, was quoted as saying that the panel was satisfied with the merit of Zahid's application. 

"The court has examined the applicant's arguments, and is allowing this application," he said in the report. 

High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah had last month dismissed Zahid's application for permanent access to his passport.

However, he allowed the Umno president temporary access to his passport for the purpose of applying for a diplomatic passport, after which he was to surrender both documents to the court. 

Zahid's passport was surrendered to the court as an additional bail condition after he was charged with 47 counts of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving Akalbudi Foundation funds.

The Bagan Datuk MP said in his notice of motion on Feb 13 that the High Court decision would prejudice his rights and responsibilities as a country leader as he would have to apply to the court for access to his passport every time he needed to go abroad for work.

"As an individual who holds one of the highest positions in the country, it is seen as impractical and an inconvenience for me to apply to the court every time I want to go abroad for work purposes.

"Therefore, it is appropriate for the Court of Appeal to consider that the approval of the application would bring good and continuity to the administration of the country, which is the responsibility of every Malaysian," he said.

Zahid also said that the application was mala fide or prejudicial, and promised to continue giving his full cooperation in resolving his court cases.

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