Kuala Lumpur High Court orders ex-minister to pay PKR $2.9m for defecting

The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Friday declared that former minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has to pay RM10 million (S$2.9 million) to Malaysia’s running Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) for defecting from it, ruining a bond she signed five years ago. Justice Akhtar Tahir found that the bond Datuk Zuraida signed on April 25, 2018, was an accurate and legal contract. “The RM10 million was not unreasonable but a right sum to act as a trouble to members from acting in opposition to the party’s willingness and favour. Any lesser sum will not act as a deterrent,” Justice Akhtar said. He also ordered Ms Zuraida, who was PKR’s vice-president and a former three-term MP for Ampang, to pay RM50,000 in costs to the party.

Ms Zuraida was the housing minister under the Mahathir Mohamad administration and the minister in charge of plantation industries and commodities under the Ismail Sabri Yaakob administration from August 2021 to November 2022. Ms Zuraida said she will speak in opposition of the court’s ruling. “I will appeal. I have advised my lawyers to (do so),” she told The Star. However, Justice Akhtar on Friday denied her explanation as baseless. After the judge’s decision, PKR’s lawyer William Leong said the party will go after others who are out of order.