6 September 2021

Bailey Leong Pui Yee assisted by Marvin Low Ming Le from Zul Rafique & Partners’ Litigation Practice Group had recently acted for Suria KLCC Sdn Bhd (“Respondent”) in an application made by one of the Respondent’s tenant and its guarantors (collectively referred to as “Appellants”) in the High Court of Malaya seeking for inter alia an order to stay the execution of the Summary Judgment obtained by the Respondent in the lower Court (“Stay Application”) where the execution sought to be stayed included winding up proceeding.

At the time of filing of the Stay Application, there are 3 appeals pending to be heard by the High Court of Malaya in relation to this tenancy claim. It is the Appellants’ submission that the appeals would be rendered nugatory if the Stay Application is not allowed despite it being a purely monetary judgment.

In response, the Respondent had in essence submitted that no special circumstances exist warranting a stay of execution of the Summary Judgment obtained. As it is a purely monetary judgment and Appellants failed to allude or satisfy the High Court of Malaya as to how the judgment sum paid could not be refunded with risk of dissipation or loss, bearing in mind the Respondent is a renowned shopping centre in Malaysia, the Stay Application ought to be dismissed. Further, it was submitted that the Appellants ought not to have included relief pertaining to a winding up proceeding in this Stay Application.  

Having heard both parties, the Judge of the High Court of Malaya had then expressed his views that whilst it is true that the Summary Judgment obtained is purely monetary in nature and special circumstances would need to be shown warranting a stay, the Judge was of the view that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is special circumstances warranting the grant of a stay of execution order. Having said so, the Judge was in agreement with the Respondent’s submission and excluded winding up proceeding from the ambit of the stay order granted and that cost was to be given in favour of the Respondent rather than the Appellants who have succeeded in their Stay Application.

The key takeaway from the decision is that even if a judgment obtained is purely monetary in nature, the legal threshold i.e. demonstrating special circumstances warranting a stay can be met by raising the argument of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more insight into this area of law, please contact our Partners in the Litigation Practice Group:
P Jayasingam
Wong Keat Ching
Thavaselvi Pararajasingam
Idza Hajar Ahmad Idzam
Farah Shuhadah Razali
Bailey Leong Pui Yee

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