PETALING JAYA: A protem committee representing more than 900,000 members and shareholders of Bank Rakyat have filed a judicial review application to take over the management of the bank from the government, as accorded under Act 202.
They were seeking judicial review against a decision made by Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd's board of directors and the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister in a move to obtain an order to cease the enforcement of Act 202.
Three shareholders, namely Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal, Datuk Mustafha Abd Razak and Datuk Rahim Yunus (plaintiffs) had engaged Haniff Khatri's law firm to initiate judicial review proceedings on behalf of the 900,000 members at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Friday (June 26) afternoon.
They named the Bank Rakyat board of directors, the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister, Finance Minister and the Malaysian Government as respondents.
They are seeking a court declaration that Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Berhad (Special Provisions) Act 1978 [Act 202] were laws meant for temporary enforcement, among others.
They filed the application following then Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof's decision to reject their request to cease the enforcement of Act 202.
Bank Rakyat's board of directors had also rejected their request to hold an extraordinary general meeting to table a proposal pushing for annulment of Act 202.
The applicants filed for a judicial review, as they were dissatisfied with the decisions made by the former minister and the board of directors.
They were seeking a court declaration that Act 202 was only enforced temporarily, and that the minister was empowered to cancel the enforcement of the Act by gazetting it.
They were also seeking a certiorari order to invalidate decisions made by the minister on April 12 and Aug 23 last year, and the board's decision on May 4 this year to reject their request to hold an extraordinary general meeting.
They also want the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister and the Finance Minister to order the board to call for an extraordinary general meeting to establish a fresh line-up of board of directors in accordance with Section 31(1) of the Act.
They noted that former Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn had said that Act 202 was only temporarily enforced to protect Bank Rakyat from mismanagement and insolvency.
Tun Hussein had said in Parliament on Dec 19,1977 that the management and adminstration rights would be returned to the bank after the problems were resolved. Article 31 could be invoked to terminate the enforcement of the Act.
The applicants also stressed that Bank Rakyat had settled the government loan 20 years ago.
The applicants believed it was now time for the members to manage the bank without government interference, in keeping with the spirit of the Bill tabled by Tun Hussein 43 years ago.