(FMT) – Water supply company Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd has initiated a RM14 billion suit against the Selangor government, Menteri Besar Azmin Ali and his predecessor, Khalid Ibrahim, over a takeover of the state’s water industry.
The Edge reported today that the company claimed the defendants had abused their powers by threatening to cause the federal government to invoke the use of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (WSIA) to force the takeover.
It said the company, in a filing to Bursa Malaysia today, stated that the Selangor government was vicariously liable for the acts of Khalid, who was menteri besar from 2008 to 2014, and Azmin, who succeeded him.
It said the case management will be held at the Shah Alam High Court on Nov 28.
Puncak Niaga is claiming damages, interest on damages and cost of the difference between the value of PNSB Water Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd) and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) at the range of RM2.08 billion to RM2.35 billion and the actual purchase consideration of RM1.55 billion under the share purchase agreement dated Nov 11, 2014 between Puncak Niaga and Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd.
The group is also claiming for loss of business opportunities, both local and foreign, totalling RM13.5 billion, the report added.
In 2014, the Selangor government and Putrajaya signed a memorandum of understanding which would see the state take over the four water concessionaires operating in the state.
Under Selangor’s water restructuring exercise, the state government had taken over water assets previously belonging to Puncak Niaga, Syabas and Konsortium Abbas, worth over RM6 billion.
Only water assets belonging to Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash) have yet to be taken over by the state government.