Melaka Gateway developer takes govt to court over licence cancellation

KAJ Development says it received a letter last year informing that the port operating licence for the Melaka gateway and cruise terminal jetty had been cancelled.

KUALA LUMPUR: Melaka Gateway integrated deep sea port developer KAJ Development Bhd is challenging the government’s decision to cancel the port operating licence granted to it by the previous Barisan Nasional government.

Theedgemarkets.com reported that KAJ Development had named the Melaka Port Authority, Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook and the Malaysian government as respondents in a judicial review application filed on March 13.

Justice Nordin Hassan today told the company’s lawyer Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla to allow time for the minister and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to respond, the report added.

Nordin then tentatively fixed April 24 to hear the leave application filed by the firm for the full merits of the case to be heard.

According to KAJ Development, it received a letter dated Oct 5 last year informing it that the port operating licence for the Melaka gateway and cruise terminal jetty had been cancelled.

The company wrote an appeal to Loke on Nov 14, but as it did not receive any response, it decided to take the matter to court.

The licence had been approved by the BN government in March 2018, shortly before the 14th general election.

According to theedgemarkets.com, KAJ Development said the project would not only bring in tourists but would also see the development of the maritime industry.

KAJ Development is seeking leave for the full merits of the application to be heard. The firm is also seeking a declaration that the decision by Loke to reject the appeal, by not replying to the appeal letter by Dec 15, is not in accordance with the law or against his statutory duty, and therefore the decision to cancel the licence is null and void, according to the report.

Theedgemarkets.com reported that KAJ Development was also seeking a certiorari order to quash the cancellation of the operating license. Alternatively, it is seeking a mandamus order to compel Loke to give a response to the appeal within 14 days of the court order.

In addition, it is seeking general damages to be assessed by the court, and special damages of RM139 billion.