Businessman's suit over payment involving solar project to proceed to full trial

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The High Court will make a ruling on a suit filed by a businessman against his business partner and former managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd over payment in relation to the hybrid solar projects for 369 rural schools in Sarawak after a full trial.

This was after Judge Datuk Ahmad Bache dismissed businessman Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah's application for a summary judgment of his suit against Saidi Abang Samsudin and rejected Saidi's request to strike out the suit.

A summary judgment is where a court makes a decision on a case without witness testimony.

Rayyan, 42, filed the suit on Feb 29 last year, claiming that Saidi failed to pay him the remaining RM9mil for services rendered for the company to secure the hybrid solar project.

In dismissing Rayyan's application, the judge said he was satisfied that Saidi, as defendant, had raised bona fide triable issues in the case and he (Saidi) should be allowed to defend himself in a full trial.

The judge said the triable issues, among others, include Saidi's contention that Rayyan as plaintiff had failed to prove the existence of an oral agreement.

"The defendant argued that the plaintiff had failed to prove the existence of an oral agreement whereby the plaintiff had relied on the 'without prejudice' letter as an admission when the letter itself was arguably not admissible under the Evidence Act.

"This is a valid and bona fide triable issue for the parties to argue and ventilate. For the foregoing reasons, the plaintiff's application for a summary judgment is dismissed without any order as to costs," he said.

On Saidi's application to strike out the suit, the judge was of the view that if a striking out is granted, the plaintiff (Rayyan) would lose everything and will not even have his day in court as if the court is closing the doors for the plaintiff to have his recourse to justice.

"For the defendant (Saidi) he still has his second bite of the cherry as even if the application is disallowed, the trial will proceed and he will have his day in court. Hence, such application should only be allowed sparingly," the judge said.

Rayyan's lawyer, Ravee G. Uthirapathy told reporters that the judge made the ruling today and the decision was sent to both parties through email. The lawyer said Feb 8 has been fixed for case management via e-review.

In the statement of claim, Rayyan stated that in early 2016, Saidi, 62, had appointed him as an advisor to obtain and prepare working papers for the hybrid solar project and in return the defendant promised to pay a fee of RM10mil, upon him (Saidi) securing the project.

He claimed that on Dec 10,2016, Saidi obtained the project, valued at RM1.25bil from the Education Ministry (MOE) as a result of the efforts and work he did and on Aug 10,2017, Saidi paid him RM1 million, but had yet to pay the remaining RM9mil.

He is seeking the remaining payment of RM9mil, RM20milin damages due to loss of investment opportunities, general damages, interest and costs.

Saidi, in his defence statement filed on April 6 last year, denied that he had appointed the plaintiff as an advisor to obtain and prepare working papers for the hybrid solar project.

Saidi also filed a counterclaim against Rayyan for the immediate return of RM1mil that was paid to him.

Rayyan and Saidi are prosecution witnesses in the trial of the wife of former prime minister Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who is facing a charge of soliciting RM187.5mil and two charges of receiving bribes of RM6.5mil involving the hybrid solar project. – Bernama

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