Published: Monday October 8, 2012 MYT 6:14:00 PM
Syabas dispute with S’gor govt to go to trial Oct 30
PUTRAJAYA: The suit by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) for RM1.05bil in compensation from the Selangor government over water tariff dispute will go on trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Oct 30.
It will be based on the initial formula of RM1.89 per cubic meter sought by the plaintiff.
This followed a decision by the Court of Appeal on Monday to allow an appeal by the defendant against a High Court's decision on May 29, which had allowed the plaintiff's application in amending its statement of claim.
Initially, the plaintiff in its statement of claim had stated that the compensation should be based on RM1.89 per cubic meter, but later sought the High Court's permission to amend the quantum, to either RM1.82 or RM1.80 per cubic meter as stated in the water concession agreement.
A three-member panel headed by justice Datuk Ramly Ali were unanimous in their decision in allowing the appeal.
Syabas was also ordered to pay cost of RM10,000 to the Selangor government.
In the suit filed on Nov 10 last year, Syabas wants the Selangor government to pay RM1.05bil in water tariff adjustment.
Syabas claimed that, based on the concession agreement, dated Dec 15, 2004, signed by the Malaysian government, the Selangor government and the company, it was given a 30-year concession to buy treated water from water treatment operators and to supply the treated water to the distribution areas in accordance with the terms spelled out in the agreement.
Syabas said that through a letter, dated March 31, 2008, it sent a document to the Selangor government to support its application to increase the gazetted tariff of RM1.39 per cubic metre to a new agreed tariff of RM1.89 per cubic metre for the third operations period from Jan 1, 2009, to Dec 31, 2011.
It claimed that the defendant had failed to inform the company whether it had agreed to increase the gazetted tariff to the agreed tariff.
Syabas also claimed that it had sent several letters to the defendant to claim compensation in line with the concession agreement but failed to get any satisfactory reply from the defendant.
In the affidavit-in-reply, the Selangor government, through the State Secretary at that time, Datuk Ramli Mahmud, said the suit by Syabas was an abuse of the court process, arguing that the water industry was undergoing restructuring as required under the Water Service Industry Act 2006 and the National Water Services Commission Act.
At Monday's proceedings, the Selangor government was represented by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Fahda Nur Ahmad Kamar, while Syabas by Datuk Harpal Singh Grewal.
Senior federal counsel Mohd Radhi Abas represented the Malaysian government. - Bernama
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