I was forced to sign RM10mil bond without reading it first, says Zuraida

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was told that former PKR vice-president Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin was forced to sign a RM10mil bond with the political party in order to contest the 14th General Election on party ticket in 2018.

Zuraida, who was testifying in a trial relating to PKR's lawsuit against her for breach of bond, said she was given documents a day before the nomination day without explanation on its terms and conditions.

"It was crisis mode and I did not have the opportunity to read or go through the content of the document I signed," she said in her witness statement during the trial here on Thursday (March 30).

The former Ampang MP said she was told to put down her signature on some documents to enable her to contest under the party's banner, therefore she had thought that these were normal documents on consent for her to use the party name.

"What is certain is that I was not given any other choice apart from signing the documents.

"At all material time, I signed the documents under compulsion without being given the real choice, because I want to continue to serve the rakyat especially those in the Ampang constituency," she added.

Zuraida also claimed that the party had fired her instead of the other way around.

"I had heard about my termination as well as other friends from the party on Feb 24, 2020.

"I subsequently read about it from the media on the same day.

"I would like to stress here that I only made the announcement of my resignation from the party after the party announced that I was terminated in the press," she said.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail sued Zuraida on behalf of PKR on Sept 28, 2020.

In the statement of claim, Saifuddin said Zuraida executed a bond where she bound herself to pay the party a sum of RM10mil in accordance with the terms and conditions that had been set.

The conditions of the bond included the defendant agreeing to pay the party RM10mil no later than seven days upon the occurrence of such events as the resignation of the defendant from the party or joining any other political party or being an independent elected representative after the defendant had won the election on a PKR ticket.

According to the statement of claim, Zuraida, together with 10 other PKR MPs, announced her resignation from the party without resigning from her elected post of Ampang MP on Feb 24, 2020.

He said Zuraida, together with the other MPs, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, Barisan Nasional, PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak and others then formed a new bloc known as Perikatan Nasional.

Zuraida claimed the lawsuit was "an absurd claim to court" and "utterly frivolous".

High Court judge Justice Akhtar Tahir fixed June 23 for decision.

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