A supplier of electrical products filed a suit against Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim, Padang Besar MP Zahidi Zainul Abidin and Perlis Umno treasurer Rozabil Abdul Rahman for breach of contract over purchases of rice cookers.
Perlis Umno had allegedly ordered as many as 60,000 1.8-litre rice cookers emblazoned with Umno and Barisan Nasional logos along with Shahidan Kassim’s initials ‘DSSK’ from the plaintiff Florence Lee Jye Wen on June 3, 2015.
According to the statement of claim filed on April 6 at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Lee claimed that she was approached by a sales representative saying Perlis Umno was interested in buying the rice cookers.
Lee produced the said logo, measuring 2.5 inches by one inch, and reportedly showed it to Shahidan’s secretary in May 2015.
Several days later, she was informed that Shahidan had approved the logo as well as the purchase of the 60,000 rice cookers for Perlis Umno.
On June 3, she reportedly received an official letter from Perlis Umno signed by its organising secretary, Kamarudin Abdul, stating that Shahidan approved the purchase at a price of RM74 per unit, with 20,000 units each to be distributed to the constituencies of Arau and Kangar.
Lee considered the document to be a confirmation letter of the purchase, which totalled RM4.4 million. The per unit price was also reportedly below the market price of RM107.
She proceeded to place an initial order for 10,000 rice cookers, with all units ready to be delivered on the instructions of Perlis Umno by June 2015.
However, only 2,000 units were ordered by Perlis Umno to be delivered between Oct 23, 2015 and April 6, 2016. It is alleged that the remaining 8,000 units were neither collected nor paid for.
As a result, Lee is claiming a total of RM592,000 for the 8,000 rice cookers, special damages of RM36,511.40 for the cost of storing the units, and continuing costs of RM2,750.35 to keep the units, which cannot be sold off elsewhere due to the customised labels on the units.
She is also seeking general damages to the order of the remaining 50,000 units, which is to be assessed by the court.
Denying any agreement
Meanwhile, the three defendants deny there entering into a contract to purchase the 60,000 rice cookers, nor issuing any official letter on June 3.
The defendants in their statement of defence added that Lee failed to acknowledge the order, and hence no agreement exists between her and Perlis Umno on said receipt.
The statement also claimed that Lee failed to deliver the rice cookers in the time stipulated, and hence should be prevented from taking legal action due to the “violation” inflicted on Perlis Umno.
The defendants further denied that the rice cookers were delivered, nor making any payment to Lee for the electrical appliances. As such, they want the statement of claim filed by Lee be dismissed with costs.
The matter came up for case management today, with judicial commissioner Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh urging both parties to consider settling, and fixed Sept 13 for case management to update the court on the status of a settlement.
If both parties fail to reach a settlement, trial dates have been fixed for June 25th to 27th next year.
Lawyer Lavinia Kumaraendran appeared for the plaintiff.