By Charlie Rudai
KOTA KINABALU: The suit initiated by Sabah DAP against Sabah Electricity Sabah Sdn Bhd (SESB) has been withdrawn after the would-be plaintiff pulled out at the 11th hour.
Sri Tanjung assemblyman, Jimmy Wong, said the plaintiff was chosen in March from the hundreds of complaints from SESB consumers in a campaign initiated by Sabah DAP last year in the Sandakan High Court in March, but had decided not to pursue the matter.
Declining to name the plaintiff and his company in the suit, Wong said Sabah DAP chose the individual as the plaintiff because his company had a three-month record of power interruption and the cost incurred.
The cost was calculated based on fuel prices for its generator set, overtime for labour and damages to the machines, among others.
Wong told a press conference today that Sabah DAP had already paid the deposit to engage lawyers through Goh and Associates. A writ of summons was also issued in Sandakan.
But before we can serve the summons on SESB, we need to get a letter of consent from the plaintiff. Unfortunately, this company then asked who was going to pay the legal fee if it lost the case, said Wong, who is Sabah DAP deputy chief. Also present was Sabah DAP chief, Dr Hiew King Cheu.
We are confident of winning the case... (if it had gone ahead) we will be able expose SESBs negligence so I personally signed a letter of undertaking to the company that in case we lost, I will be responsible for the cost of the legal fee, he said.
However, if we won the case, I requested that the company divide equally the amount that it got from the proceeding, which would be given back to the people, he said.
But the plaintiff said no and did not want to proceed, he said.
'I won't give up'
As such, Wong said he had the responsibility to inform the people about the matter because he had promised that Sabah DAP would pursue the matter.
Wong nonetheless assured this would no! t be the end of the story.
SESB should not be laughing because the summons could be served again. I will never give up, he said, adding that in Sandakan, there are many companies, especially saw millers in the Seguntor industrial area, which are losing millions due to the frequent power outages.
On why only one complainant was chosen as plaintiff in the suit, Wong recalled that in the Sabindo open-space case, the 10 plaintiffs in the suit were deemed too many.
(In 2005, the 10 plaintiffs sued the Tawau Municipal Council and a company to stop them from developing five lots of open spaces in Sabindo town into a commercial project.)
The judge presiding the case said one plaintiff was sufficient to represent the interests of the people, he said.
Wong called on the people who felt they have been victimised by SESB to come forward and volunteer to become plaintiffs in the suit against the SESB.
He said those who wanted to do so should have detailed records of the power interruption as well as the cost incurred by them during the three-month period.
We hope the people will be with us because we dont want to die standing, he said.
Meanwhile, Hiew, who is also Kota Kinabalu MP, said he had been raising the matter in Parliament but Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Peter Chin Fah Kui, continued to give weak replies.
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