Sarawak vs Petronas: JC fixes Feb 11 to rule on Petronas’ stay of execution application

From left: Talat Mahmood, Fong and Saferi walking down the stairs at the Kuching court complex.

KUCHING, Feb 5: Judicial Commissioner (JC) Christopher Chin Soo Yin has fixed February 11 to rule on the stay of execution application by Petronas.

Chin made the decision after hearing submissions from both parties in the Chamber.

Petronas is applying for a stay on the hearing of the case filed by the Sarawak government to sue Petronas over the unpaid state sales tax, pending their appeal of the JC’s decision dismissing their application to recuse the said JC.

Petronas is applying for a stay on the grounds that if they win the appeal, the case hearing would have to start all over again.

Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

Meanwhile, the Sarawak government’s argument is that there is no grounds for the stay and that the court should proceed with the hearing because this case is of public interest and should not be stopped halfway just because Petronas wants to appeal.

If the JC allows the stay application by Petronas, the civil suit will be stopped until the final decision by the Federal Court.

Petronas is represented by lead lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and counsel Alvin Chong. The Sarawak government is represented by State Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid, State Legal Counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong, Nur Azhar Bujang, Saferi Ali and Voon Yan Sin.

Petronas had earlier applied for Chin to recuse himself from presiding over the case where the Sarawak government is suing Petronas for unpaid five per cent State Sales Tax amounting to RM1.3 billion.

Chin on Jan 23 dismissed the recusal application by Petronas with the cost of RM50,000. Petronas is appealing against this decision. — DayakDaily