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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Dhaya Maju obtains restraining order against govt over KDVT2 project


Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd has obtained an interim court order to prevent the government from calling for a new tender for the Klang Valley Double Tracking (KVDT2) rail project.

The Court of Appeal today granted the ad-interim injunction as part of the company’s main appeal to prevent the government and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) from ordering it to stop work at the project site.

Previously, Dhaya Maju had appealed against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision to dismiss the company’s injunction application.

The contractor currently has two legal actions pending at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in relation to its challenge against the government’s attempt to cancel its contract over KVDT2. One of them is a judicial review while the other is a writ of summons.

Today’s Court of Appeal ruling is specifically linked to Dhaya Maju’s writ action that seeks to challenge the validity of a purported government letter dated Sept 23 last year, that confirmed the decision to terminate the company’s contract for KVDT2.

This specific suit listed the Transport Minister, the government, KTMB and engineering consultancy firm Opus Consultants (M) Sdn Bhd as the four defendants.

In a media statement issued today, Dhaya Maju confirmed that the Court of Appeal had granted the ad-interim injunction to it until July 26.

The contractor also said that July 26 would be the hearing for its application for an  Erinford injunction application against the government.

Under the law, an Erinford injunction is an order that a court is empowered to grant to maintain the status quo between parties in a legal action, pending the disposal of one of the parties’ related appeals.

“With the stay order intact from the judicial review proceedings, this decision from the Court of Appeal also maintains the status quo, which is that the government cannot call for new tenders for the KVDT2 project,” the company said.

Dhaya Maju contended that its legal team had submitted before the Court of Appeal that it is important to grant the interim order now, otherwise the further injunction sought on July 26 would be rendered nugatory (pointless).

The company claimed that despite objections raised by KTMB’s legal team, the Court of Appeal was of the view that these arguments can be raised during the further injunction hearing on July 26.

Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong

Dhaya Maju also said that they have streamlined their two civil actions into a single action at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for consistency.

“DM-LTAT (Dhaya Maju LTAT) strongly believes in our right to defend the sanctity of the contract the government has entered with DM-LTAT for the KVDT2 Project.

“We are ready to resume the KVDT2 project. We look forward to the government’s forthcoming decision on the settlement agreement to allow DM-LTAT to continue and complete the KVDT2 project,” the company said.

Besides the suit over the termination letter, the other Dhaya Maju civil action involves a judicial review seeking to nullify the minister’s decision to cancel the KVDT2 contract and to reopen the tender.

Previously, Dhaya Maju also had a third civil action linked to the government’s decision to cancel the company’s contract on the KVDT2 project. However, this has since been withdrawn.

In August 2020, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong announced that the government would reopen the tender for the KVDT2 rail project, claiming that investigations found the RM4.475 billion price tag for the project was too high, despite cost-cutting measures made by the previous Pakatan Harapan administration.

The project came under the spotlight after Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz revealed details of the 101 contracts that were purportedly awarded through a direct negotiation process during the time Pakatan Harapan was in power.

The KVDT2 contract, in terms of value, was the largest on the list. - Mkini

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