Should Khalid Samad be sued for misfeasance?

P Gunasegaram

Modified 28 Nov 2019, 11:08 pm

QUESTION TIME | The sequence of events leading to a revised approval for the RM3 billion Taman Rimba Kiara development shows there are serious questions as to why the new government is going ahead with the project, albeit a project that has been scaled down.

As if that were not controversy enough, prominent lawyer Gopal Sri Ram stepped into the fray when he offered himself pro bono to defend City Hall in an ongoing court case brought by residents against the private development City Hall questionably approved.

This raises legitimate questions, such as when does the government limit the acceptance of pro bono cases involving itself and its agencies and the further question of how does it ensure whether it is in the public interest to do so.

There is another issue to consider - whether Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad can be sued for misfeasance, basically, abuse of authority, given a recent ruling by the Federal Court.

The apex court had unambiguously ruled that prime ministers and ministers are public officers, which allows them to be sued for misfeasance. Also, if misfeasance or abuse of authority is proved, then not only is the government liable for damages but it is possible the public officer is too.

It was reported the Taman Rimba Kiara development, a joint-venture owned 49 percent by Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) - the charity arm of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall - and private developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd linked to Pavilion Group’s Desmond Lim Siew Choon, was approved in 2014. Lim and his family are known to be close to former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah...

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