PETALING JAYA: It may well be plain sailing for the government’s plan to sell Equanimity if nobody else comes forward to claim ownership of the superyacht.
Lawyer Ashok Vijay, who specialises in maritime law, says Putrajaya can proceed with the sale of the yacht but must first put up a notice of its intention to do so.
“If there is no ownership claim to Equanimity and a court action to stop its sale, the government is allowed to dispose of it,” he said.
“Once the vessel is sold, other persons have no rights over the yacht, even if they make a claim of ownership at a later date.
“Action to dispose of the yacht is allowed under the Courts of Judicature Act.”
However, it will not be a quick process.
“The earliest it can proceed is three months from now,” said Ashok.
He said the government must get a court order for the sale of the superyacht.
“Once the order is obtained, the government has to place an advertisement in local and international media to announce its intention to dispose of the vessel,” he added.
“Under the law, the notice period can take up to 45 days for it to be enforced.
“Once this is done, the government can sell the ship.”
In most cases, this is done through an auction.
Ashok said even if a person made a claim to the vessel after the disposal, he would not be able to get it back.
Neither could he sue the buyer over its ownership.
“However, the person can take action against the government and focus the suit over the price at which the superyacht was sold,” he said.