By The Star

The High Court has asked a former chief executive officer, who is seeking protection as a whistleblower, and his ex-employer to try and resolve the lawsuit between them.

In his suit, Dr Syed Omar Syed Agil, 56, had asked the court for protection as a whistleblower for allegedly exposing the financial improprieties of his colleagues.

Dr Syed Omar, who was appointed CEO of Institut Profesional Baitulmal Sdn Bhd (IPB) on Sept 1, 2014, was suspended on Oct 7 last year.

He is seeking an injunction to restrain the company, that runs the private college in Jalan Perkasa here and which is 70% owned by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council, from continuing an internal probe against him and suspending him, on the grounds that he is a whistleblower.

Dr Syed Omar’s contract expired about two months ago. Yesterday, his lawyer Sarah-Ann Yong Jenlee told reporters that High Court judge John Louis O’Hara asked both parties to discuss a possible resolution.

“That is, if both can agree to record a consent order to the effect that the company will not reveal anything on his previous employment,” she said.

Sarah said her client wants “a clean employment history”.

IPB’s lead counsel Fakhrul Azman Abu Hassan said the parties would try to resolve the suit amicably.

“He (Dr Syed Omar) wants to withdraw (it) as the matter is now academic; he is no longer CEO of the company because his contract has expired.

“He insisted that we withdraw the notice of disciplinary inquiry but we do not agree. For us, if he wants to withdraw, it has to be unconditional,” he said after the parties met the judge in chambers.

Fakhrul Azman said Justice O’Hara set Nov 18 for the outcome.

In May, the court heard arguments that Dr Syed Omar was a whistleblower who sought assistance from relevant authorities to investigate alleged financial irregularities at his workplace.

His lead counsel, Amer Hamzah Arshad, contended that Dr Syed Omar raised the issue of financial irregularities to IPB’s chairman and the council before going to the authorities. He added that the authorities did not object to his client initiating legal action in his personal capacity.

In June, Fakhrul Azman submitted that the former CEO was not entitled to protection as a whistleblower because he was merely trying to avoid disciplinary action for alleged misconduct.