Court cannot grant injunction against govt, counsel says in KVDT2 case

Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd is challenging the termination of its contract in the Klang Valley Double Tracking Phase 2 project.

KUALA LUMPUR: The law bars the court from issuing injunctions against the government and its public servant for carrying out their official duties, the High Court heard today.

Senior federal counsel Asliza Ali, in objecting against an injunction sought by Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd against the government over the Klang Valley Double Tracking Phase 2 (KVDT2) project, said Section 29 of the Government Proceedings Act “clearly states that the court shall not grant any orders that have the effect to restrain public duty”.

“On the balance of convenience, we say that an injunction will prevent us (the government) from discharging our public duty. Besides that, this KVDT2 would be stalled and cannot proceed,” she said.

Dhaya Maju LTAT filed a suit against the government, claiming that its termination letter was not duly sent to it, as required under the terms of its contract. The notice of termination was sent to the company some time in September last year.

It also said the government had no basis to terminate the contract on grounds of “public interest”.

The company is seeking an injunction to restrain the government from terminating the contract.

Asliza also said that any losses suffered by Dhaya Maju LTAT from the termination could be compensated by way of damages.

“An injunction should not be granted in cases where damages are easily quantifiable,” she said.

Dhaya Maju LTAT’s lawyer, Khoo Guan Huat, told the court they had sought the injunction to preserve the status quo between the company and government, pending disposal of the lawsuit.

“We are contesting this termination is unlawful. The minister (Wee Ka Siong) cited ‘national interest’ and our price was too high as reasons for it.

“We were terminated not because we did not do a good job,” he said, adding that the company had never breached the terms of the contract and had provided its best service to the government.

Khoo also said the termination would affect Dhaya Maju LTAT’s ability to vie for local and foreign projects in the future.

“Our reputation, credibility and standing in a small and specialised industry are at stake. All these are incalculable,” he said.

Judge Lim Chong Fong set June 4 to deliver his decision on Dhaya Maju LTAT’s injunction application.

Before the hearing started today, Lim had asked the lawyers if they were negotiating any settlement.

Khoo replied that the company representatives had met senior officials from the Treasury and transport ministry earlier this week. He said attorney-general Idrus Harun was also present.

Asliza confirmed that a meeting had taken place and said any decision on the issue would be deliberated by the Cabinet.

She said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had been instructed to proceed with the injunction hearing.

KVDT2 was one of the 101 projects costing RM6.61 billion alleged by the Perikatan Nasional government in Parliament to have been awarded through direct negotiation during the Pakatan Harapan administration.

The project spans 110km, involving two KTM railway tracks – one from Salak South to Seremban and the other from a point between Kuala Lumpur Sentral and Angkasapuri to Port Klang.

Previously, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan had told Parliament the government was open to renegotiations with Dhaya Maju-LTAT to achieve a “win-win” solution.