Court strikes out suit filed by 404 ATM retirees

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 - The High Court here today struck out a suit filed by 404 retirees of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) against the Malaysian and Singapore governments, as well as several other parties, for conspiracy, cheating and downgrading their dignity. The suit was filed by Tengku Zainal Abidin Tengku Yusoff, 58, on behalf of 403 former ATM officers.

Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin dismissed the suit on the grounds that it was against the court process because the salary scheme of the ATM officers, which was agreed by the Cabinet in 1972, no longer involved Singapore, which left Malaysia in 1965. A similar suit filed in 2001 was also struck out by the court, he added. Tengku Zainal Abidin, a retired Captain, filed the suit on January 20 this year.

They named former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, six Malaysian prime ministers from Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj to Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the chief secretary to the government as defendants. Also named as defendants were defence ministers, from the time of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein to the present, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Defence Secretary General, Government of Malaysia and the Government of the Republic of Singapore.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs alleged that the first prime minister right up to the current sixth and the secretaries-general had cheated, conspired and abused their powers to downgrade the dignity of MAF officers by reducing the salary quantum of their corps and allowances since 1963 to the present time. They are seeking a declaration that the Cabinet decision in 1963, which sidelined the MAF from the Special Commission that was set up to review remuneration and service terms for the public sector, was wrong and unlawful.

Tengku Zainal Abidin represented himself and the other 403 plaintiffs, while senior federal counsel M. Kogilambigai, represented the six Malaysian prime ministers, from Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the chief secretary to the government and other parties in the Malaysian government. Lawyer Datuk Cyrus Das represented former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore government. - Bernama

By kind courtesy of BERNAMA


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