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Developer sues Parkson Retail Asia unit for alleged failure to pay rent

PROPERTY developer PKNS-Andaman Development Sdn Bhd has served Parkson Corporation Sdn Bhd (PCSB), a subsidiary of Parkson Retail Asia, with a writ and statement of claim in relation to premises let to PCSB within EVO shopping mall in Malaysia.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, PKNS alleged that PCSB has failed to observe its obligation to pay rental for the premises, according to the tenancy agreement entered into between both parties on Oct 2, 2017. 

Therefore, PKNS is claiming for reliefs including RM3.7 million (S$1.2 million) as accrued monthly rental from April 2, 2018 to Dec 2, 2019, and thereafter at the rate of RM183,000 per month until the return of the premises. Alternatively, a sum of RM3.8 million could be paid as accrued monthly rental from Feb 27, 2018 to Nov 27, 2019, and thereafter at the same monthly rate of RM183,000 until the return of the premises to PKNS, the filing showed. 

PKNS is also seeking RM1.9 million in renovation costs; a 5 per cent interest per annum on the debt with effect from Dec 13, 2019 when the writ was served until the date of judgement; and another 5 per cent interest on the debt from the date of judgement until the full settlement date. 

According to the filing, PCSB is to return the vacant possession of the premises to PKNS in the original condition, and/or return vacant possession of the premises within 14 days from the date of the judgement. PKNS has also requested PCSB to bear the cost of the proceedings. 

In response, PCSB has taken the position that no rental is payable.

This is because "PKNS has failed to satisfy the conditions set out in the tenancy agreement for rental commencement to be triggered", and PKNS's act of issuing notice backdating the commencement date of rental without satisfying the conditions precedent is "unlawful", the company said. 

PCSB is of the view that it has a "good defence" and has instructed its solicitors to defend against the suit, it added. 

Shares in Parkson Retail Asia last traded at 0.8 Singapore cent on Dec 19, up 14.3 per cent, or 0.1 cent.