PUTRAJAYA, March 12 (Bernama) — The Federal Court today dismissed a review application by the first grandson of Tengku Ali Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Sulaiman over his lawsuit for a declaration that he was the rightful heir to the Terengganu throne.
Tengku Sulaiman Tengku Abdul Halim, 63, wanted the Federal Court to re-hear his leave to appeal application which was dismissed in Nov 2017. The leave to appeal was filed in an attempt to reinstate his lawsuit that was struck out by the High Court in 2016.
A three-member bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed today ordered Tengku Sulaiman to pay RM50,000 in costs each to the five members of the Terengganu Royal Council and to the Terengganu state government.
In his decision, Justice Azahar said it was clear that the Federal Court three-man panel’s decision in dismissing Tengku Sulaiman’s leave to appeal in 2017, was a unanimous decision.
“The applicant’s review application on the constitutional issue is an afterthought,” he said, adding that Tengku Sulaiman should have raised the issue at the opportune time when the matter was in the public domain.
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The other two judges were Federal Court judges Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli.
Earlier, Tengku Sulaiman’s lawyer Kong Yit Har urged the court to review the Federal Court’s earlier decision on grounds that there was a coram failure as the decision to dismiss the leave to appeal, was made by one judge without consulting the other two judges.
She also raised the issue on the constitutionality of former Chief Justice Tun Raus Shariff’s appointment, who chaired the Federal Court earlier panel.
In his statement of claim, Tengku Sulaiman said that on Sept 26, 1942, Tengku Ali was installed as the Sultan of Terengganu following the death of his father, Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Zainal Abidin III.
He said Tengku Ali was subsequently removed from the throne on Nov 5, 1945, by the Jemaah Pangkuan Negeri Terengganu (now known as Dewan Pangkuan Diraja Terengganu) and Tengku Ali’s uncle, Tengku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Zainal Abidin III, was appointed Sultan of Terengganu.
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According to the statement of claim, Tengku Ali’s eldest son, Tengku Abdul Halim, who was then 11 years old, was supposed to replace his father as the Sultan of Terengganu.
Tengku Sulaiman claimed that being the eldest grandson of Tengku Ali, he had the right to the Terengganu throne.
He had appealed against the High Court’s decision that struck out his lawsuit but lost his appeal which was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in July 2017.
Lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham represented the members of the Royal Council while Terengganu state legal adviser Datuk Razali Che Ani appeared for the state government.