Lim Lip Eng

Posted by : Unknown | Jumaat, 9 September 2011 | Published in

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Lim Lip Eng

Hunger strike to compel payment from Pahang government of court award

Posted: 09 Sep 2011 01:10 AM PDT

Photo by Lim
Source: (By Tan Yi Liang, 8/9/2011)
A group of 10 directors, investors and shareholders of a logging company are staging a hunger strike relay until the Pahang state government pays it damages awarded by the High Court. The strike which began in Segambut today will continue until the Pahang mentri besar pays Seruan Gemilang Makmur Sdn Bhd the RM63 million awarded to it in 2009, when the company won a suit against the state government for breach of contract.
One participant, John Chong, 70, told a press conference the hunger strike was being staged due to the reluctance of the state to pay the sum which has since increased. "The money aspect is there and it is true that I benefit if they make payment, but I cannot tolerate an act of injustice by a state government which I believe will affect Pahang's image to foreign investors," he said. "If I am a foreign investor, I will not invest my money if such defiance goes on. A judgment was legally obtained in court. If authorities do not abide by the law, where do we stand?" Chong, a former High Court officer, said he would continue the strike until the Pahang government pays up or he collapses – whichever comes first. Another participant, former police Special Action Unit member Ramli Suleiman, 46, said he was striking to express his dissatisfaction at Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob. "How can he administer Pahang when he can't resolve cases like this?" asked Ramli, who was the Sultan of Pahang's former bodyguard. Seruan Gemilang manager Lee Sin said the strike was being staged in Kuala Lumpur as the company was unable to find a place in Kuantan to highlight the issue.
Explaining the concept of the relay, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said the participants will take turns to go on a hunger strike. "When one collapses, another from among the 10 will line up to take his place," Tan said.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said he would look in on the participants daily and defend them against any harassment by the authorities.
The Kuantan High Court had awarded the company RM37,127,471.60 in damages with 8% interest per annum from Dec 31, 2000. The sum was awarded on May 25, 2007 after it won a suit naming the Pahang government and the state forestry director as defendants. The award was upheld by the Federal Court. The Court of Appeal rejected the state's application for leave to appeal the High Court decision, and the Federal Court on Sept 17, 2008 upheld the Court of Appeal's decision. However, the mentri besar's subsequent application to the Court of Appeal to set aside an order of mandamus from the Kuantan High Court compelling the mentri besar to settle the amount was allowed on Oct 9, 2009. The Court of Appeal ruled that the state financial officer and not the mentri besar should have been named as the respondent in the order of mandamus.
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