Court of Appeal strikes out Crowe Horwarth’s suit against SC

KUALA LUMPUR: The Court of Appeal has allowed the Securities Commission’s (SC) application to strike out the suit filed by Crowe Horwath and two of its partners, Onn Kien Hoe and Lee Kok Wai. 

The SC said in a statement that it appealed against the decision of the High Court in dismissing its application to strike out the suit filed by the audit firm and its partners seeking protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 (WPA). 

In the Court of Appeal, SC submitted that its application to strike out the suit should be allowed as there was an abuse of the court process given the initiation of multiple proceedings including four judicial review applications, to resist the Audit Oversight Board’s enforcement action against Lee and that the three parties are not entitled to the protection under the WPA. 

Crowe Horwath and its partners initiated the action after the Audit Oversight Board (AOB) reprimanded and imposed a penalty of RM50,000 on Lee Kok Wai for failure to comply with the International Standards on Auditing in respect of an audit on the financial statements of Silverbird Group Bhd for the financial year ended Oct 30, 2010. 

The Court of Appeal unanimously held that there were merits in the SC’s appeal and ordered the three parties to pay costs to SC. 

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