5 water firms demand RM254 mil compensation from Sabah govt

KOTA KINABALU: Five water firms have sued the Sabah government for undue termination of their contracts.

The five companies — Arawira Sdn Bhd, Yuda Water Sdn Bhd, BYT Vision Sdn Bhd, Harmony Water Sdn Bhd and Sahabat Megajuta Sdn Bhd — filed the case at the High Court here seeking damages totalling nearly RM254 million.

Another company, Akal Kukuh Sdn Bhd, is also mulling filing a suit soon.

While Arawira filed two suits seeking damages of RM30.9 million and RM37.9 million, Yuda Water demanded RM51.1 million, BYT Vision RM42.8 million, Harmony Water RM30.2 million and Sahabat Megajuta RM60.9 million as compensation.

In its statement of claim, Arawira said its water treatment plants at Kudat’s Milau and Sandakan’s Sigaliud fully complied with the terms of the concession agreement.

The company claimed that the Sabah government failed to give any reasons for terminating the contracts.

The Water Department also refused to meet the companies for a smooth handover of the treatment plants.

Arawira named Sabah Water Department director Amarjit Singh and the state government as the first and second defendants in its suit.

Yuda Water, BYT Vision, Harmony Water and Sahabat Megajuta also made similar claims.

Last December, the state government had decided to terminate the contracts of six companies effective Jan 15, 2019.

Peter Anthony, the state infrastructure development minister, said the decision was taken as the government could not afford to pay the charges that were “too high”.

He said the operations of the 58 treatment plants would be taken over by Sabah Water Department.

The firms have 13 years and five months left in the concession.