GEORGE TOWN (June 10, 2008): By Bernard Cheah
The High Court here granted the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) an inter parte injunction to prevent a developer from carrying out extension works on the Gurney Plaza mall after working hours.
The inter parte injunction against Etika Cekap Sdn Bhd, as well as Gurney Plaza Sdn Bhd, BEP Arkitek Sdn Bhd and RB Contracts Sdn Bhd, was made to stop construction work of the nine-storey building beyond 8am to 6pm from Mondays to Saturdays as well as Sundays and public holidays.
High Court Judge Datuk Ghazali Cha granted the order in chambers yesterday after hearing submissions from both the plaintiff and the defendants yesterday.
Ghazali said it was clear from the evidence that MPPP had given numerous notices and warnings to the developer to stop work beyond the permitted hours.
However, there were still breaches in the limitations imposed on the working hours.
Ghazali found that the reasons given for the said breaches were "remeh" (trivial), stressing that the defendants could overcome their problem with proper planning.
He said the issue not only attracted public interest but also of the government, including the chief minister, wherein the developer had placed economic interests over public interest.
No trial date has been fixed.
The defendants asked for an oral application for stay of execution but were told to submit a written application.
The defendants, represented by Jeyasingam Balasingam, K. Kirubakaran and Mureli Navaratnam, indicated they will appeal.
The plaintiff's counsels were Dominic Pillai, Karin Lim and William Lim.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and MPPP president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman had visited the construction site on May 14.
Guan Eng had then reportedly expressed dissatisfaction that the developer did not heed warnings by the local authorities not to conduct construction work beyond the permitted hours.