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Umno says it should not be sued by SRC for RM16m as breaches involve company directors

10 May 2022

KUALA LUMPUR (May 10): Umno central in its defence against the RM16 million suit filed by SRC International Sdn Bhd and two others claimed that the suit is an abuse of the court process and should be time barred as it was filed more than six years after the Malay nationalist party received the funds.

The political party further claimed that since SRC also filed a suit against its former directors and the directors of its subsidiary company Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Jendela Pinggiran Sdn Bhd, then the claim on it amounted to a duplicity.

“Since the breach of fiduciary duty and criminal breach of trust is done by the plaintiff's (SRC, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran's) directors, it does not involve Umno. As the companies had filed the suit against its former directors via suit WA-22NCvC-336-05/2021, the claim against Umno is unreasonable, is non-existent and cannot proceed.

“The party also has no knowledge over the breaches done by the directors of the companies and resulting in it receiving the money,” the political party added.

This was part of Umno's defence in the RM16 million suit filed by SRC, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran last April 13.

The party, however, admitted to receiving the RM16 million through its CIMB account via three cheques dated April 8, 2015.

It added that since the receipt was seven years ago and the suit was only filed on May 7 last year, the suit is barred from being filed as any civil suit should be filed within six years.

The Malay nationalist party further added in its defence filed by Messrs Shahrul Hamidi & Haziq that it is seeking to strike out the suit and that the court should have dismissed the suit, and that it has valid grounds to do so since the party was not involved in the breaches.

The funds were allegedly transferred to Umno by the then president, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was the prime minister, finance minister and advisor emeritus in SRC as well as its main company 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

SRC, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran in their reply to Umno's defence sighted by stipulated that by Umno admitting to receiving RM16 million in its CIMB account, it had admitted that the funds came from Jendela Pinggiran.

In the reply dated April 27, filed by Messrs Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership, the three companies further claimed that Umno was not entitled to receive the funds as it had no business dealings with SRC, Gandingan Mentari or Jendela Pinggiran.

Furthermore, the funds should not be considered as the company's fund for corporate social responsibility, as Umno itself had not shown how it was spent.

The three companies further claimed that the suit was not barred by time as the companies only discovered such breaches when Umno and Barisan Nasional lost in the 14th general election.

“The companies only discovered the breaches in 2019, after Umno and BN lost on May 9, 2018, and hence the suit is not barred by time as it is filed within the six-year limitation period,” it added.

SRC, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran in its suit claimed that Umno should pay back the RM16 million that the party received as it knowingly accepted the fund without verifying its origins.

Umno had on Nov 10, 2021 tried to strike out the suit filed by the three companies but this was dismissed by the High Court. It is presently awaiting the appeal hearing of its striking out application at the Court of Appeal.

On Monday (May 9), a case management for the SRC, Gandingan Mentari and Jendela Pinggiran's suit against Umno was held before High Court deputy registrar Nurul Izzah Hasan Basri where the court was informed of a close in the pleadings where the court directed parties to file a summary of the case, statement of agreed facts, its witness lists, bundle of pleadings and issues to be tried by June 9.

Another case management for the matter is fixed for July 13.

The three companies were represented by Elani Mazlan while Mohamed Baharudeen Mohamed Ariff appeared for Umno.

Edited by Surin Murugiah

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