High Court dismisses Azmin’s countersuit against Puncak Niaga

 |Mar 15, 2018

SHAH ALAM: The High Court here today dismissed a counter-claim by Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali in an almost RM14 million suit filed by Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd (Puncak Niaga) over the restructuring of the state’s water industry.

Judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir dismissed Mohamed Azmin’s counter-claim with costs of RM3,000 after finding there was no cause of action against Puncak Niaga.

The decision was made in chambers in the presence of lawyers SH Ng, representing Mohamed Azmin, and Lau Mark Chi Ming, for Puncak Niaga.

Last Feb 22, the court struck out the suit by Puncak Niaga following applications by Mohamed Azmin, former Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and the Selangor government.

Akhtar struck out the suit on grounds that the statement of claims by Puncak Niaga was fatal.

Besides applying to strike out the suit, Mohamed Azmin also filed a counter-claim against Puncak Niaga on grounds that the water concessionaire intentionally filed the suit with no valid grounds and had abused the court process.

The mentri besar had sought general damages, costs and other relief which the court deemed fit.

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 plaintiff, among others, claimed that the suspension of negotiations on the restructuring efforts of the water industry in Selangor for five years had been to Khalid’s and Azmin’s personal political benefit, that the negotiations were not made on the basis of “willing buyer willing seller” causing the company to suffer losses and damages.

As such, Puncak Niaga claimed for damages, interest and costs over loss of business opportunities in the country and abroad, totalling RM13.5 billion.

It also sought damages on 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 rates of RM2.08 billion to RM2.35 billion, and demanded a real 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