On 24th April 2024, the Kuantan High Court dismissed the 2 judicial review applications filed by 220 applicants in seeking to quash the decision of the State Government of Pahang to award a lease to the 6th Respondent (i.e. Royal Pahang Durian Resources PKPP Sdn Bhd).

The High Court dismissed the two (2) Judicial Review Applications with costs in the total sum of RM600,000.00 for both Judicial Review Applications. The Applicants are jointly and severally liable for the costs ordered. In this regard, the costs are as follows:

  • RM200,000.00 for both Judicial Review Applications payable to the 1st to 4th Respondents;
  • RM200,000.00 for both Judicial Review Applications payable to the 5th Respondent; and
  • RM200,000.00 for both Judicial Review Applications payable to the 6th Respondent.

In dismissing the 2 Judicial Review Applications, in so far as the substantive grounds for judicial review are concerned, the High Court found in favour of the Respondents and held, inter-alia, as follows:

  1. The Applicants are merely squatters simplicitor who have no rights under the law or in equity. Although the Applicants have the threshold locus standi to appear before this Court, they have no substantive legal rights vis-à-vis the subject matter of the proceedings. At no material time did the State Authority grant the Applicants’ applications for licenses to occupy the subject land. As such, the Applicants status as squatters simplicitor remains.
  2. The Applicants’ argument as to having a legitimate expectation to remain on the subject land is unsustainable as the Applicants are squatters simplicitor. The Applicants attempts to rely on the notion of having a legitimate expectation cannot override the statutory provisions of the law.
  3. The impugned decisions by way of the notice of eviction in so far as the Applicants are concerned were not in any manner tainted with irrationality, procedural impropriety, or unreasonableness. On the contrary, they were issued in full compliance with the applicable law.
  4. The Applicants’ argument as to alleged breach of the Federal Constitution and/or the Competition Act 2010 is far-fetched and misconceived.
  5. Therefore, both judicial review applications by way of Suit No. CA-25-11-10/2020 and Suit No. CA-25-12-10/2020 are dismissed with costs.

In this regard, we successfully represented the 6th Respondent in opposing the two judicial review applications. The firm’s team consisted of:

This dispute is now the subject of two appeals to the Court of Appeal of Malaysia as of 26th April 2024.

Read the broad grounds of judgment about the case HERE. The full written grounds of judgment of the High Court have yet to be made available.