BERNAMA – Former prime ministers Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, as well as three other defendants, have been asked to file their defence against a lawsuit over the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project.
According to local media, the High Court issued the orders during the case management of the lawsuit yesterday and the parties involved are to file their defence statements, the latest by February 28.
Apart from the two former prime ministers, three other defendants expected to file their defence are former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed, former transport minister Wee Ka Siong and the Malaysian government.
The High Court also directed the plaintiff, Mohd Hatta Sanuri, to file any reply he may have to those defence statements before Mar 28 and the next case management has been set for March 30.
Two former Malaysia prime ministers sued over termination of High-Speed Rail project
On Tuesday, Mohd Hatta filed a lawsuit against the defendants for alleged abuse of public office and negligence in the cancellation of the HSR project. He claimed that Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin had both committed tort misfeasance in public office for their roles in the postponement and termination of the HSR project respectively, causing the Malaysian government and people to pay millions of ringgit in compensation to the Singapore Government.
A compensation of almost MYR46 million was made to Singapore after Dr Mahathir postponed the project.
Malaysia paid another MYR320.3 million as compensation when Muhyiddin cancelled the bilateral agreement on the HSR between the two countries.
Mohd Hatta also claimed that Mustapa, who was responsible for managing the project, had committed a similar offence by shelving the project, while Dr Wee committed tort misfeasance in public office for denying Malaysians their right to enjoy a first-class transport system.
The 47-year-old is seeking a court order to declare the cancellation of the project null and void, as well as for all the defendants to pay MYR1 million compensation to him and all Malaysians for wrongfully and negligently cancelling the HSR project.