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29th January, 2015

In the case of Hamirudin Hashim v Khairul Annuar Mansor and Mohamad Arif Abdul Rashid, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur had dismissed Mr. Hamirudin Hashim’s claim of RM15000.00 due to failure to prove on balance of probabilities against Mr. Khairul Annuar Mansor and Mr. Mohamad Arif Abdul Rashid.

By way of background, Mr. Hamiruddin Hashim (hereinafter referred as Plaintiff) is the President of Hostelling International – Malaysia (“HI-M”). Mr. Khairul Annuar Mansor (hereinafter referred to as “the 1st Defendant”) and and Mr. Mohamad Arif Abdul Rashid (hereinafter referred to as the 2nd Defendant) are President and Secondary General of Malaysian Youth Hostels Association (hereinafter referred to as “the Defendants’ MYHA”).

HI-M was originally registered in Malaysia as a youth society on 15 March 1957. Subsequently, HI-M changed its name to Malaysian Youth Hostels Association (hereinafter referred to as “the Plaintiff’s MYHA”) on 3 October 1990. When the new Youth Societies And Youth Development Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) was introduced in Malaysia in 2007, the Plaintiff’s MYHA was not registered under this Act but instead it was decided to change its name and amend the constitution to allow the Plaintiff’s MYHA to be registered a new youth society. The Plaintiff’s MYHA changed its name to HI-M and this was approved by the Registrar of Societies in 2007.

The Plaintiff had then found out about the Defendants’ MYHA and then commenced an action in High Court of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur alleging that the Defendants had used Plaintiff’s good name and goodwill. The Plaintiff sought a declaration that the Defendants relied on the name and goodwill of the Plaintiff’s MYHA and sought an injunction against the Defendants’ MYHA

The issues raised by the Plaintiff in the statement of claim proved that the Plaintiff was disappointed with the use of name and logo, brochures and information which allegedly belong to the Plaintiff as the founder of the Plaintiff’s MYHA.

The Counsel for the Defendants pointed out that the Plaintiff has no “proprietary right” over the name MYHA as it was not registered as a youth society under the Act.

The High Court held that the Plaintiff failed to show evidence on burden of proof towards the Defendants. The Court had struck out the claims made against the Defendant as the Plaintiff did not take any steps to substitute the name of the defendant.

More damagingly, the High Court noted at the fact that the Plaintiff did not consider Registrar of Societies as a party in suit. MYHA was registered by the Registrar of Societies and therefore the Court had indicated that he should be made as a party in this suit.