Court Orders Zuraida To Pay RM10 Million To PKR

She defected from the party in February 2020, breaching a bond she had signed with PKR.

Cover image via New Straits Times

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Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin has been ordered by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to pay a fine of RM10 million to PKR for defecting from the party and breaching a bond she had signed with it in 2018

Justice Akhtar Tahir ruled that PKR has succeeded in proving its claim against Zuraida for breaching the bond in which she bound herself to pay the party RM10 million as per the bond's terms and conditions.

"The purpose of the bond is to deter members, especially (PKR's) elected candidates, from acting against the interest of the party before or after an election. A lesser sum will not act as a deterrent," Akhtar said.

According to a report in New Straits Times, one of the terms included that Zuraida agrees to pay PKR the sum not later than seven days upon winning the election on the party ticket and then resigning from the party, or joining any other political party, or becoming an independent elected representative.

She defected from PKR amidst the political crisis in February 2020

Zuraida followed a group of other PKR members of parliament (MPs), who were led by former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, during the political crisis, dubbed the 'Sheraton Move', to join Bersatu.

However, Zuraida did not step down from her elected post as the Ampang MP.

Zuraida, who won the Ampang federal constituency under PKR in three general elections from 2008 to 2018, lost her Ampang seat in the 2022 general election (GE15), garnering only 4.39% of the votes cast.

The civil suit against the former PKR vice-president was filed by PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on behalf of the party via Messrs William Leong & Co in October 2020.

According to Saifuddin, Zuraida enjoyed the benefits of being elected as the PKR candidate and winning the Ampang seat and it was unjust for her to retain the benefits without paying compensation.

A file photo of Zuraida Kamaruddin.

Image via New Straits Times

In her defence, Zuraida testified that she did not know the details of the RM10 million bond. However, the judge called her claim "baseless".

The judge said that under the terms of the bond, Zuraida had promised to pay RM10 million in any of three events, including if PKR terminates her membership or if she resigns, reported Free Malaysia Today.

"Her contention that she signed it under duress is baseless. The evidence showed she signed the bond with full knowledge of the contents," Akhtar said while ordering Zuraida to pay RM50,000 in costs to PKR.

According to Malaysiakini, Zuraida's lawyer Nizamuddin Abdul Hamid said they will appeal to the Court of Appeal against today's verdict and will also file an application at the High Court to stay the decision.

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