Lawyer withdraws appeal for RM12.5mil in unpaid legal fees from Bersatu

Lawyer withdraws appeal for RM12.5mil in unpaid legal fees from Bersatu

Lawyer withdraws appeal for RM12.5mil in unpaid legal fees from Bersatu
Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdullah’s (left) suit against Bersatu and its office-bearers, including Muhyiddin Yassin, is scheduled to go to trial in March next year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla has withdrawn an appeal to the Court of Appeal for summary judgment over a claim for RM12.5 million in unpaid legal fees from Bersatu and its office-bearers.

The hearing of the appeal, scheduled for today, was vacated after a notice of discontinuance was filed last week.

Following the withdrawal, the appeal was struck out by the court in accordance with Rule 9(3) of the Rules of the Court of Appeal 1994.

Both Haniff and Bersatu lawyer Amiratu Al Amirat Saleh Garbaa confirmed the matter to FMT.

The summary judgment application was dismissed by the High Court in July last year, after Justice Akhtar Tahir ruled that Bersatu and its office-bearers had a credible defence to the claim.

Akhtar said Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, treasurer Salleh Bajuri and secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin, had in their defence denied appointing Haniff as legal adviser to the party.

“As there is no written appointment, as admitted by the plaintiff (Haniff) himself, the only way to prove it is by the testimonies of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Mukhriz (Mahathir),” Akhtar said in his judgment.


The judge noted that neither Mahathir nor Mukhriz had filed affidavits to support Haniff’s contention.

Mahathir is a former Bersatu chairman while Mukhriz was its deputy president.

Akhtar added that the defendants had a credible defence which needed to be determined at trial and not by way of summary judgment.

The trial has been scheduled from March 20 to 24 next year.

Haniff, in his statement of claim, said his firm’s invoice was issued to Muhyiddin, Hamzah and Salleh in 2021.

He said the suit was filed only after they failed to respond to a reminder to pay up.

He added that the money was for legal services rendered before Bersatu was formed up to the point it pulled out of Pakatan Harapan (PH) in early 2020, and prior to the setting up of Perikatan Nasional (PN).


According to Haniff, he represented the party in a kleptocracy, corruption and abuse of power suit against then prime minister Najib Razak and his administration which took place before the 14th general election (GE14) in May 2018.

The statement said Haniff’s services came to an end on Feb 24, 2020 following the “Sheraton Move”, which led to the collapse of the PH government.

In their defence, Bersatu and the office-bearers said they wanted the lawyer’s suit to be dismissed as there was no agreement between them.

They said all services rendered by Haniff to Mahathir were made on a voluntary basis and without expectation of payment.

They also contended that the sum claimed was also grossly excessive and unlawful.

Mahathir, Mukhriz and three MPs were sacked from Bersatu for their refusal to support the PN-led government led by Muhyiddin in 2020.

Mukhriz is now Pejuang president while Mahathir has left the party to join Putra whose president is Ibrahim Ali.


Lawyer withdraws appeal for RM12.5mil in unpaid legal fees from Bersatu




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