Friday 02 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 11): The Syariah High Court had on Tuesday (Jan 11) postponed the hearing involving joint matrimonial assets allegedly worth RM2 billion belonging to the late former federal minister Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis and his wife Puan Sri Kalsom Ismail.

This comes after Kalsom’s lawyers are said to have handed her witness statement and a bundle of documents allegedly containing the list of assets to the defendants — namely the couple’s children and Jamaluddin’s mother Aminah Abdullah — only on Tuesday.

The children named as defendants in the case are Ikhwan Hafiz Jamaluddin, Nur Anis Jamaluddin, Nurul Alyaa Jamaluddin and Noor Adilla Jamaluddin. 

The court was initially supposed to hear Kalsom’s testimony on Tuesday, but it had to be deferred due to the recent submission of the documents, which also need to be verified further by parties before proceedings may commence.

Aminah’s lawyer Nur Hidayah A Bakar, who appeared with Farhan Haziq, told reporters after the closed proceedings that Kalsom’s lawyers were supposed to hand over the documents last June, but only gave them on Tuesday, before proceedings were slated to begin.

Senior counsel Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah, who represented Kalsom — a dentist, said they were prepared to go on with the case and his client was willing to testify as well.

“However, for some of the properties in America, we need to clarify which particular law will apply to the properties. So, we need further time to investigate this,” he explained.

Following this, KL Syariah Court Judge Haznita Hamidon fixed April 7 to hear the matter.

Meanwhile, Nur Hidayah sought costs of RM100,000 as a result of the postponement of the trial, which has dragged on since the case was filed in 2018.

She added that she also sought costs because Jamaluddin’s mother, 87, had already waited so long for the matter to end.

Aminah's legal team now comprised Nur Hidayah, along with newly-hired Farhan and counsels Zaid Abdul Aziz and Mohamad Shahril Mohamad Nasir, after Kamar Ainiah Kamaruzaman passed away last year.

Sulaiman then opposed the costs sought by Nur Hidayah. 

The judge agreed not to grant the costs for the postponement. 

The senior counsel, when asked about the value of the properties for the joint matrimonial assets, declined to give a figure as having been subjected to tax applications both in Malaysia and overseas jurisdictions. 

“We have to take into account all those things as well before we make any statements or set any values in the assets. Assets on paper might seem a lot but there might be all sorts of issues relating to that which have to be resolved first. 

“I do not think anybody is trying to waste time. It is in the interest of all parties to get out. And we are not in favour of letting the assets dissipate. We might as well get the decision soon so that they can set out all the assets and divide them according to the law,” he said.

Amongst other assets that are part of the estate are houses in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. The estate also includes shares owned by the late minister and those purportedly given to her grandchildren.

In total, the assets comprise 22 landed properties, mostly in Pahang and the Klang Valley, 21 bank accounts with a total sum of more than RM15 million — including one account in the United States — and shares in 15 companies.

The power of attorney was given to Jamaluddin's children Ikwan Hafiz and Nur Anis by the civil court.

Kalsom is said to be seeking half of the joint matrimonial assets, which Nur Hidayah claims her client is disputing.

Jamaluddin died as he was one of the five on-board a helicopter that included Najib's principal private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias, which crashed in Semenyih in April 2015.

Edited ByLam Jian Wyn
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