KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd does not have to pay the more than RM1.65mil in outstanding levies to the Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) involving a solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
This was after the High Court here allowed on Wednesday (March 9) the company's application to set aside a judgment-in-default (JID) order obtained by CIDB for the company to pay the levies.
The solar hybrid project is the subject matter of the ongoing corruption trial of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Counsel Afifah Afif, who acted for Jepak, told Bernama that CIDB's lawyer Nor Ahyani Ahmad did not raise any objection to Jepak’s application to set aside the JID when the matter came up for case management through e-Review before Deputy Registrar Maslinda Selamat Wednesday.
"Although the JID has been set aside, the writ of summons still remains. However, counsel for CIDB informed the court that there is a possibility that the writ of summons will be withdrawn," she said, adding that the court has fixed March 22 for case management for CIDB to update it on the matter.
The company filed the application on Feb 11, and among others, applied for a court order to set aside the default judgment order dated Jan 13 for RM1,656,250.00 to be paid at an interest rate of 5% per annum from the date of judgment and costs amounting to RM1,500.
An affidavit of support from Datuk Mohd Afrizan Husain, who was appointed as the judicial manager of Jepak Holdings, said that on Jan 16, Jepak Holdings had submitted an application to place the company under the judicial manager to protect it from the ongoing claims from creditors.
Afrizan claimed that Jepak Holdings did not receive the writ of summons and statement of claim filed by CIDB, and only found out about the legal action taken against the company through a news portal on Jan 15.
He claimed that Jepak Holdings also did not intend to or carelessly remain absent from the hearing, as if the company had received the writ of summons and statement of claim, it would definitely have defended itself.
On Jan 13, the High Court had granted CIDB’s application for a judgment-in-default to be entered against Jepak Holdings after the company failed to be present in the suit filed by CIDB as the plaintiff.
In a statement of claim filed on Dec 2 last year, CIDB said based on the provisions under the Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board (LPIPM) Act 1994, it reserved the right to impose a levy on any registered contractor before commencing construction work on projects valued at RM500,000 and above for a quarter per cent of the total contract price.
According to CIDB, on Nov 10,2016, Jepak Holdings was appointed to carry out contract works known as the "Proposed Implementation Through Direct Negotiations for Hybrid Photovoltaic (PV) Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Diesel Gen-sets for 369 Sarawak Rural Schools" worth RM1.25 billion.
CIDB said that a notice of claim dated Aug 16,2019 was issued against the defendant to claim the outstanding levy amount, which had yet to be paid.
Therefore, the plaintiff demanded that the defendant pay the RM1,656,250.00 due as of Aug 16,2019, with interest, costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. - Bernama