Batu Puteh RCI: High Court to decide on Dr M's judicial review application on June 12

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has set June 12 to decide on the judicial review application filed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in relation to the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s (RCI) proceedings into Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks, and South Ledge.

Judge Datuk Amarjeet Singh has fixed 8.30am to deliver his decision, an hour before Dr Mahathir was is scheduled to give his evidence before the RCI panels on the same day.

The judge set the date and time after hearing submissions by the former premier’s counsel Zainur Zakaria and senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, who appeared for the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC).

Dr Mahathir filed the application on June 5, naming RCI chairman Tun Md Raus Sharif and his deputy Tan Sri Zainun Ali as the first and second respondents.

The third to eighth respondents are RCI members Datuk Dr Baljit Singh Sidhu, Datuk Dr Johan Shamsuddin Sabaruddin, Prof Datin Dr Faridah Jalil, Datuk Mohammed Ridha Ham Abd Kadir, Dickson Dollah, and RCI Secretary Zamri Misman.

Dr Mahathir is seeking an order to have the RCI proceedings into the handling of issues related to the sovereignty of Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks, and South Ledge conducted publicly.

He is also seeking an order to prohibit Md Raus from acting as the RCI chairman and to prevent Dr Baljit and Mohammed Ridha from being members of the RCI.

In the application, Dr Mahathir is seeking a declaration that he is an individual involved in or related to the matter being investigated by the RCI under Section 18 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1950 (Act 119).

During today's proceedings, Zainur argued that his client has been blamed on social media for selling the country; thus, the proceedings must be made public.

"Why hide the truth? We want the proceedings to be open to the public, instead of being held behind closed doors. It is a public interest case,” said the counsel.

Meanwhile, Shamsul countered that the formation of the RCI and the appointment of the commissioners rested with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. – Bernama

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