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Bursa Announcements

Date : 14 September 2012

MATERIAL LITIGATION LITIGATION CASES AGAINST A SUBSIDIARY OF TH PLANTATIONS BERHAD (“THP”)

TH PLANTATIONS BERHAD

TypeAnnouncement
SubjectMATERIAL LITIGATION
DescriptionLITIGATION CASES AGAINST A SUBSIDIARY OF TH PLANTATIONS BERHAD (“THP”)
The Board of Directors of THP (“the Board”) wishes to announce that THP Saribas Sdn. Bhd. (Company No. 154294–K) (“Saribas” or "the Company"), an 80% subsidiary company of THP currently have three (3) litigation cases involving Native Customary Rights (“NCR”) claims (“the Litigation Cases”). Details of the Litigation Cases are as follows:
1. Kuching Suit No. 21-2-2010-II
      Nyawai anak Guang & 2 Others versus Saribas, the Superintendent of Lands and Surveys Betong Division and the State Government of Sarawak
      This is a suit by three (3) individuals suing on behalf of themselves and other owners, occupiers and/or proprietors of Native Customary Rights (“NCR”) land from Kampung Rumah Rengan, Selambong Rumah Anau and Rumah Lakun, Entebu, Saratok, Betong, Sarawak (“the Plaintiffs”) situated within Provisional Lease Lot 410 Block 18 Awik-Krian Land District (“the PL”) together with Saribas as the 1st Defendant, the Superintendent of Lands and Surveys, Betong Division, Sarawak as the 2nd Defendant and the State Government of Sarawak as the 3rd Defendant for inter alia, the following orders :
      (a) A declaration that the Plaintiffs had created and/or acquired and/or inherited Native Title and/or NCR over areas within the PL;

      (b) A declaration that the Native Title and/or rights preclude Saribas from impairing and/or abridging the Plaintiffs’ said Native Title and/or NCR;

      (c) A declaration that the acts of the 2nd and 3rd Defendants in issuing the PL to Saribas, in so far as they impair the Plaintiffs’ NCR over the NCR land, is wrong and/or void;
      (d) A declaration that the issuance of the PL to Saribas, in as far as the extent of that area under the PL is unlawful, improper, unconstitutional and therefore null and void, for want of extinguishment of the Plaintiffs’ NCR over the said land;

      (e) A declaration that the area so included in the PL as claimed by the Plaintiffs as part of their NCR land, the same to be excised out of the area of land under the PL;

      (f) A prohibitory injunction restraining Saribas and/or their employees, servants and/or agents from trespassing, clearing, using or occupying the Plaintiff’s NCR land; and

      (g) Alternatively, a mandatory injunction against Saribas and/or their employees, servants and/or agents to cease operations and remove all structures and equipments or machineries from the Plaintiffs’ NCR land.


2. Sri Aman Suit No. SA-22-1-2011-I
      Agnes Dawong Anak Gurang & 69 Others versus the State Government of Sarawak, the Superintendent of Lands and Surveys Department Betong Division, the Registrar of Lands and Surveys of Sarawak and Saribas
      This is a suit by seventy (70) individuals suing on their own behalf as the proprietors of NCR land and parcels of land issued with Occupation Tickets for planting rubber (“the Plaintiffs”) situated within the same PL together with the State Government of Sarawak as the 1st Defendant, the Superintendent of Lands and Surveys Department, Betong Division, Sarawak as the 2nd Defendant, the Registrar of Lands and Surveys Department, Sarawak as the 3rd Defendant and Saribas as the 4th Defendant for, inter alia, the following orders :
      (a) A declaration that the Plaintiffs are the owners of the NCR land measuring over 1,760 acres or 712.2 hectares more or less which are situated within the PL;
        (b) An injunction against Saribas to restrain Saribas by themselves or their agents or servants from entering, trespassing, occupying, clearing and bulldozing the NCR land and from planting oil palms on the NCR land;
        (c) Alternatively, damages and/or compensation including damages for the continued trespassing and occupation of the NCR land against Saribas;
        (d) Alternatively, exemplary damages and/or compensation for the wanton and inhumane destruction of the Plaintiffs’ crops and properties on the NCR land against Saribas; and
        (e) Alternatively, against Saribas for the repossession of the NCR land.


    3. Sri Aman Suit No. SRA-1/3-2012
        Antah Anak Ujeh, Gasah Anak Degom, Guyong Anak Renang, Sanggat Anak Enggie & 32 Others versus the State Government of Sarawak, the Superintendent of Lands and Surveys Department, Betong Division and Saribas
        This is a suit by four (4) individuals suing on behalf of themselves and thirty two (32) other owners, occupiers and/or proprietors of NCR land from Rumah Sat, Muton, Debak, Betong, Sarawak (“the Plaintiffs”) situated within the PL together with the State Government of Sarawak as the 1st Defendant and the Superintendent of Lands and Surveys Department, Betong Division as the 2nd Defendant and Saribas as the 3rd Defendant for, inter alia, the following orders:
        (a) A declaration that the Plaintiffs are the owners of NCR land measuring 548.81 acres or 222 hectares more or less situated within the PL;
          (b) An injunction against Saribas to restrain Saribas by themselves or their agents or servants from entering, trespassing, occupying, clearing and bulldozing the NCR land and from planting oil palms on the NCR land;
          (c) Alternatively, damages and/or compensation including damages for the continued trespassing and occupation of the NCR land against Saribas;
          (d) Alternatively, exemplary damages and/or compensation for the wanton and inhumane destruction of the Plaintiffs’ crops and properties on the NCR land against Saribas; and
          (e) Alternatively, against Saribas for the repossession of the NCR land.


      The Board further wishes to inform that by a Sarawak Government Gazette Part II Vol. LXVI No. 14 dated 7 April 2011, parcels of land containing an area of 2,532.3 acres or 1,024.8 hectares and 2.49 acres or 1.01 hectares, more or less and described as Lots 489 and 490 Block 18 Awik-Krian Land District respectively and situated within the PL had been declared as Native Communal Reserve by an Order cited as the Native Communal (Agriculture) Reserve (No. 13) Order, 2011 and came into force on 19 August 2010. Based on the map, Lot 489 and Lot 490 are within Lot 410 which are also the areas being claimed in the Litigation Cases.

      The PL was registered under the name of Kenyalang Resources Sdn. Bhd. and the company was renamed as THP Saribas Sdn. Bhd. upon the successful acquisition of 80% shareholding in the Company by THP. The PL is approximately 2,600 hectares in size.

      By an application of the Company’s solicitors and by an order of the High Court at Sri Aman, Sarawak on 30 July 2012, all the Litigation Cases were ordered to be consolidated and tried jointly as all the litigation cases are over areas situated within the PL and further the areas claimed by the three Plaintiffs overlapped with one another. The matter has been fixed for further mention by the High Court on 12 October 2012.

      To date, the total cost of developing the areas within the PL is RM82,388,886.15. The total claims under the Litigation Cases encompassing the affected PL is 934.2 hectares out of total area of Saribas’s land of 10,390 hectares and therefore are not expected to have material financial and operational impact on the THP Group.

      The expected losses are not determinable as the Litigation Cases are still at the preliminary stages.

      To handle the Litigation Cases, Saribas had appointed Messrs. Hamzah & Ong Advocates (“the Solicitors”) to act on behalf of the Company. In addition, Messrs. Arthur Lee, Lin & Co and Messrs. Susanna Lim & Partners had also been appointed to assist the Solicitors in handling the Litigation Cases.

      Based on the facts of the Litigation Cases, the Company is of the view that it has a good defence to the claims of the Plaintiffs.

      Meanwhile, there has been an offer for out of court settlement from the Plaintiff’s solicitors for the Company to purchase outright the rights of the natives over their claimed areas. The Company is presently looking at the options of purchasing outright or for a joint venture arrangement with the natives over the affected areas. Nonetheless, Court proceedings still continue.

      Further development of the Litigation Cases will be announced to Bursa Malaysia from time to time.

      This announcement is dated 14 September 2012.


      Announcement Info

      Company NameTH PLANTATIONS BERHAD  
      Stock Name THPLANT    
      Date Announced14 Sept 2012  
      CategoryGeneral Announcement
      Reference NoTP-120912-27133
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