KUALA LUMPUR: A senior citizen has found that silence is not golden when he lost in his RM5mil civil claim against Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) over a substation the company built on his land in Sepang.
High Court judge Justice Yeoh Wee Siam said Mohd Yusof Ujang, 60, a registered co-owner of the land in Dengkil, did not object to TNB’s alleged trespass from 1982 to April 17 last year.
“He remained silent, and the defendant’s substation stayed on the land. None of the other eight registered co-proprietors of the undivided land objected to TNB’s substation being on it.
“The plaintiff cannot now claim that the defendant is trespassing onto his land. He had waived his rights from 1982 onwards,” said Justice Yeoh in her judgment yesterday.
She said if Mohd Yusof had wanted to assert his rights against TNB, he should have done so within six years from 1982 when he first became a registered co-owner of the land.
“The long silence of the original proprietors, and later that of the plaintiff, can be taken as implied consent for TNB to construct and maintain the substation on the land. This court holds that the defendant is not liable for trespass and continuing trespass of the land,” she added.
TNB had argued that it was unfair that Mohd Yusof was only making a complaint and claim 42 years after the substation was constructed. It contended that Mohd Yusof had known about the construction of the substation in 1972 and had only lodged a complaint through a letter last year.
“It must be remembered that the original purpose of constructing the substation was to connect and supply electricity and provide street lights to the area where the land is situated, in the public’s interest, including benefitting the proprietors of the land, from 1972 onwards,” said Justice Yeoh.
When met later, Mohd Yusof, who was surrounded by his family members and lawyers Mohd Faizal Abdul Rahman and Fatimah Zulaikha Ahmad Basri, said he would appeal soon.
Justice Yeoh dismissed the lawsuit on grounds that it was a “baseless claim” and ordered each party to bear their own costs.
In his suit filed on Oct 24, Mohd Yusof said TNB, named as the sole defendant, had trespassed on the land in 1972 by constructing an electrical substation which was fenced up by green wires, and replacing the fencing with a concrete wall in 1992 without his consent or any notice in accordance with the Electricity Supply Act 1990 and its regulations.
Among others, Mohd Yusof had sought RM5mil in compensation from TNB.
Gurmel Singh represented TNB.