Court Strikes Out RM14b Suit By Puncak Niaga

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SHAH ALAM, Feb 21 – Former Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and two others today succeeded in dismissing an almost RM14 billion suit filed against them by Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd (Puncak Niaga) over the restructuring of the state’s water industry.

This followed a decision by the High Court here in allowing the application by Abdul Khalid, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and the Selangor government. Judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir struck out the suit on grounds that the statement of claims by Puncak Niaga was fatal and ordered the company to pay costs of RM25,000 to each of the defendants.

The court also set March 13 for decision on a counter-claim by Mohamed Azmin against Puncak Niaga. Puncak Niaga was represented by lawyer Lau Mark Chi Ming, while Abdul Khalid was represented by lawyer New Sin Yew and Mohamed Azmin by lawyer Latheefa Koya. The Selangor government was represented by the State Legal adviser Datuk Nik Suhaimi Nik Sulaiman. 

In the suit filed on Oct 27 last year, Puncak Niaga among others claimed that Abdul Khalid and Mohamed Azmin had abused their power by threatening to cause the Federal Government to invoke the Water Services Industry Act 2006 to force the takeover of the water services industry in Selangor. The company had claimed for damages, interest and costs over the loss of business opportunities in the country and abroad, totalling RM13.5 billion.

It also sought damages, interest on damages and cost of the difference between the value of PNSB Water Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd) and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) at the range of RM2.08 billion to RM2.35 billion. The company also sought actual purchase consideration of RM1.56 billion under the share purchase agreement dated Nov 11, 2014, between Puncak Niaga and Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd. — Bernama

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