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 the three other defendants.
In the statement of claim, Mohd Hatta said Dr Mahathir, who was then the seventh prime minister, 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 prime minister, also committed tort misfeasance in public office for terminating the project, causing the Malaysian 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 claimed that Mustapha, 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 the Malaysians their right to enjoy a first-class transport system with the cancellation of the HSR project.
He 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 compensation to him and all Malaysians for wrongfully and negligently canceling the HSR project.
On Jan 1, 2021, Malaysia and Singapore announced the termination of the 350-kilometer 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 for the development of the HSR project.
The 350km HSR would have shortened the traveling time from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to 90 minutes.
The case management of the suit has been set for Feb 2 before High Court Senior Assistant Registrar Nur Shasha Hidayah Nor Azahar.