KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31): A man has filed a lawsuit against former prime ministers Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for alleged abuse of public office and negligence over the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project.
Mohd Hatta Sanuri, 47, who filed the suit through Messrs Mohaji, Hazury & Ismail on Dec 30 last year, also named former minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, former transport minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and the government as three other defendants.
In the statement of claim, Mohd Hatta said Mahathir, who was then the seventh PM, had committed tort misfeasance in public office when he decided to postpone the HSR project, causing the government and the Malaysian people to pay compensation of almost RM46 million to the Singapore government.
He claimed that Muhyiddin, who was then the eighth PM, also committed tort misfeasance in public office for terminating the project, causing the government and the people to pay RM320,270,519.24 as compensation for the cancellation of the bilateral agreement between Malaysia and Singapore.
Mohd Hatta also claimed that Mustapa, who was responsible for managing the project, had committed a similar offence by shelving the project, while Wee committed tort misfeasance in public office for denying Malaysians their right to enjoy a first-class transport system with the cancellation of the HSR project.
Mohd Hatta is seeking a court order to declare the cancellation of the project null and void, as well as for all the defendants to pay RM1 million in compensation to him and all Malaysians for wrongfully and negligently cancelling the HSR project.
On Jan 1, 2021, Malaysia and Singapore announced the termination of the 350km HSR project, as the two countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia before the expiry of the project agreement on Dec 31, 2020.
Accordingly, Malaysia paid S$102.8 million (RM320.27 million) to Singapore for costs incurred during the development of the HSR project.
The 350km HSR would have shortened travelling time from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to 90 minutes.
Case management of the suit has been set for Feb 2, before High Court senior assistant registrar Nur Shasha Hidayah Nor Azahar.
HSR project cancelled as Singapore could not agree with changes proposed by Malaysia