Berjaya Land to seek leave from the Federal Court on COA decision to cancel Selangor Turf club plan

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 22): Berjaya Land Bhd, controlled by tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, is still fighting hard to undertake the Selangor Turf Club (STC) project that was mooted 17 years ago in 2004, despite the hurdles along the track, including lawsuits. 

Berjaya Land said it will seek leave from the Federal Court on the recent Court of Appeal (COA) decision to cancel its STC plan. This case for the company against the Selangor state government — that had gone through two administrations since this went to the courts — had been ongoing since 2016.

“Berjaya Land Bhd is a responsible corporate citizen and will always be guided by the rule of law. While we respect the decision of the Court of Appeal, the company will apply for leave to appeal to the Federal Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal and restore the decision of the Shah Alam High Court of Nov 9, 2017,” Berjaya Land told The Edge when contacted on the latest court decision on the matter.

Last week, Sinar Harian reported that the Selangor state government had succeeded in its appeal to cancel the implementation of the proposed construction of STC, including construction of an Equestrian Sports Center (ESC) in Bukit Tagar, Hulu Selangor, that has one of the largest horse racing gambling establishments in Asia.

Citing lawyer Datuk Kamaruzaman Arif, the report said, the COA's decision on Nov 3 set aside the Shah Alam High Court order dated Nov 9, 2017 which allowed judicial review of Berjaya Land and two others against the Selangor state government and one other party.

“The panel of judges of the Court of Appeal found that there was no legitimate expectation for the respondent,” the report cited Kamaruzaman as saying.

According to him, the unanimous decision was made by a three-judge panel of COA chaired by Datuk Lee Swee Seng, who also ordered the respondents to pay RM20,000 to the Selangor state government.

In March 2016, Berjaya Land and two related companies — Berjaya Tagar Sdn Bhd and Berjaya City — had initiated the legal action against the Selangor government, Country Planning Department (JPBD) and six other state agencies.

Berjaya Land announced in November 2017 that it had won a judicial review application against the Selangor government and the Selangor Town and JPBD, paving the way for the relocation of STC to Bukit Tagar.

In 2004, Berjaya Tagar had entered into an agreement with STC for the acquisition of three parcels of leasehold land measuring a total of 245 acres in Sungai Besi for RM640 million, of which RM35 million will be paid in cash and the balance of RM605 million will be satisfied by a transfer to STC of 750 acres of land in Bukit Tagar with a newly built turf club.

Berjaya Tagar had proposed to acquire the Bukit Tagar land from Berjaya City, a subsidiary company of Berjaya Corporation Bhd, and to appoint Berjaya City as the turnkey contractor of the new turf club.

However, Berjaya Land had not received the necessary approvals due to a change in the Selangor state government after the 2008 general election.

At the time of writing, Berjaya Land is down half sen to 23 sen, valuing the group at RM1.18 billion. Year-to-date, it has risen 21%.

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