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DAYANG NURFAIZAH BTE AWANG DOWTY V BINTANG SENI SDN BHD & ORS (2004) 2 MLJ 39

FACTS OF THE CASE

This is a dispute related to enforcement of a contract for personal services. Plaintiff is a professional recording artiste and she entered into contract with the defendant as personal manager. By the agreement, the plaintiff appointed one Ana Muliati Pratadaja as personal manager to procure business, to advise and direct the plaintiffs career and to manage her personal affairs. There is clause in the agreement stated that plaintiff appoints the defendant as her exclusive personal manger and will engage no other personal manager during the duration of the agreement.

However, the relationship between plaintiff and defendant turned sour and plaintiff appointed another personal manager for herself.
Defendant applied for an interlocutory injunction against the plaintiff from appointing or engaging any person, other than def. as her personal manager and to restrain the plaintiff from making any public performance without the consent of the first defendant

Defendant relies on s.55 of the Specific Relief Act 1950 (SRA) Injunction to perform negative agreement Notwithstanding section 54(f),where a contract comprises an affirmative agreement to do certain act, the circumstances that the court is unable to compel specific performance of the affirmative agreement shall not preclude it from granting an injunction to perform the negative covenant.

In apposing, plaintiff cited Section 20(1)(b) of Specific Relief Act which stated that A contract which runs into such minute or numerous details ,or which is so dependent on personal qualifications or violation of the parties, or otherwise from its nature is such ,that the court cannot enforce SP of is material terms. Under this section it provides that a contract for personal services cannot be specifically enforced.

Dato Seri Visu Sinnadurai in his book ,Law of Contract ,the reasons why SP is not granted in cases of personal service are: First: Neither the employer nor the employee should be compelled to be in relationship which they have opted out of. Second: It interferes unduly with his personal liberty.

Case: Page One Records ,Ltd & Anor v Britton & Ors (1967) 3 All ER 822
Where an agreement more or less similar in nature to management agreement(contract for personal services) ,court refused to grant interlocutory injunction against The Troggs(musician) to restrain them from engaging anyone else as manager as if to do so would amount to enforcing the performance of the contract.

Plaintiff submits that, to grant an injunction to enforce negative covenants, would be the same as if SP of the contract. Court held: Referred to Section 22(1)(b) of SRA ,contract to render personal services is not enforceable under SP thus claimed made by defendant is not allowed and be dismissed with costs.