Friday, January 13, 2006

Enough Said, Please Read The Judgment

You can read it on Page 4 in NST and the front page of The Sun, ... but you will have to dig pretty hard to read it in The Star (tsk, tsk, used to be my favourite paper...) and then The Star had the audacity to leave out the names of the two corporate players. The case starring roles involved Metramac, Metro Juara, STKG, DBKL ... among others. Featuring Halim Saad and Annuar Othman. Special appearance by Justice Sri Ram. Revolves around selling a company for RM97.5m when it is due compensation of RM764m.

The greed, deception, trickery, arm twisting and collusion involved is as obvious as Lim Kok Wing's hair piece. Good thing is that cases such as these made the light of day. I thought these would be (once again) swept under the carpet of wishful thinking. It is embarassing to the country but it needs to be done, and maybe, just maybe, there will be less injustice, ... and more integrity in the financial , legal, political and economic system. Its a long and winding road ... but at least we are taking baby steps in the right direction.

The article as reported in NST 13 Jan 06: Two of the biggest names in corporate Malaysia received mention in the Court of Appeal today — and not all of it was favourable.They were Tan Sri Halim Saad, one of the country’s best known businessmen, and Tun Daim Zainuddin, the former Finance Minister. In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal ordered Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd, a toll operator, to pay about RM65 million to a construction company in compensation for loss of advertising rights.Judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram also ordered Metramac to pay Fawziah Holdings Sdn Bhd all proceeds to be received under future contract.The amount is to be assessed by a High Court registrar.He also ordered costs to Fawziah Holdings, which had appealed against a High Court ruling.Further, Sri Ram dismissed a cross-appeal by Metramac for a declaration that several agreements between them were null and void.Metramac is the owner and operator of the East-West Link Expressway (Karak-Kuantan) and Sungei Besi Expressway. Datuk Fawziah Abdul Karim and her mother Maimon Bee were directors and shareholders of Fawziah Holdings and they are also directors and shareholders of Syarikat Teratai K.G. Sdn Bhd (STKG) now known as Metramac. In July 1986, Fawziah Holdings, through STKG succeeded in obtaining a tender from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to design, construct, finance and operate the privatisation of a number of roads in and around the city, which included one in Jalan Cheras. In December 1988, four institutions invested in STKG, bringing in RM65 million worth of capital. DBKL, the concessionaire, however, suspended toll collection sometime in September 1990 due to a demonstration at the Cheras toll plaza.As a result, compensation of RM764 million was payable by DBKL to STKG.STKG was then bought over by Metro Juara Sdn Bhd for RM97.5 million.Sri Ram said Metro Juara Sdn Bhd shareholders, Halim and Anuar Othman, had something which Fawziah did not: patronage of then Finance Minister Daim.The judge said DBKL was supposed to pay STKG RM764 million as compensation after suspending the company from collecting toll. However, he said Daim had told Fawziah that the Government had no money to pay compensation.It was at this juncture that Metro Juara came into the picture and bought STKG for RM97.5 million. "This is a crude form of economic duress presented in a subtle form," Sri Ram said. The judge said no right-thinking person would sell STKG for RM97.5 million when the compensation was RM764 million.Judges Datuk Hashim Mohd Yusoff and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin heard the appeal with Sri Ram.Their decision was unanimous.Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who appeared for Metramac, told the court that the company would file an appeal with the Federal Court.Datuk Dr Cyrus Das, Benjamin Dawson and Koh San Tee represented Fawziah Holdings.On March 7, 1995, Fawziah Holdings filed an action for breach of contract against Metramac seeking RM65 million as compensation for loss of advertising rights and profits under future contract.Metramac counter-claimed for a number of declarations, including that certain clauses in the agreements were null and void.It also asked for an account of all revenues received by Fauziah Holdings under those agreements.High Court judge Datuk Kang Hwee Gee had on Oct 2, 2003, ruled that Metramac was in breach of the agreements.However, Kang ordered loss of advertising rights to be assessed. He dismissed the claim for future contract .

No comments:


The Leakers - Helmed by the often brilliant Herman Yau Nai Hoi (whom I believe was from Malaysia who became a great success in HK films). 7...