PETALING JAYA: The High Court in Kota Kinabalu has struck out Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr’s suit to declare the Sebatik state seat vacant after its incumbent representative quit the party last year.
Judge Wong Siong Tung ruled that an elected assemblyman should be free to act according to the best of his ability while his judgment should not be legally constrained by obligations to his party.
“Any arrangement that fetters or deprives such freedom of elected members of the legislature will be contrary to public policy and (is) unlawful.
“Any causes of action based on such arrangement to deprive such freedom cannot be sustained in law,” Wong said.
In his suit, Loretto sought to remove Sebatik assemblyman Hassan A Gani Pg Amir after he quit the party in February last year.
Lorreto’s suit also sought to enforce an oath or “pledge of loyalty” made by Hassan, as well as an undated, pre-signed letter of resignation.
He claimed that Hassan, who has since joined Bersatu, was under a special obligation to vacate his seat in the event he quit the party.
Wong allowed Hassan’s application to strike out Loretto’s suit and awarded costs to Hassan of RM5,000.
Tengku Fuad Ahmad and Wilson Chang appeared for Hassan while Loretto was represented by Goldam Hamid and Syful Sufyian Sidin.