Friday 24 May 2024
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“In Halim’s letter to Dr Mahathir on Nov 13, 2002, Halim let Dr Mahathir decide on the adequate compensation to be paid to him (Halim). He (Halim) stipulated that what he wanted was to be free of debt.” — Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 20): The Attorney General Chambers, appearing for former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and the government, has applied to strike out the suit filed by businessman Tan Sri Halim Saad.

It filed the striking out application on Nov 16, saying the suit is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process. It has also applied to stay all proceedings until the determination of this (striking out) application.

The application to strike out the suit has been fixed for hearing on May 14 next year, before Judicial Commissioner Dr Suzana Mohamad Said.

The application to strike out the suit is supported by an affidavit in support by Nor Mohamed, in which he affirmed that Halim had supported the general offer on United Engineers Malaysia Bhd (UEM) on his own choice, without any inducements from the defendants.

“Halim accepted the offer from Khazanah Nasional (Bhd) to acquire his shares and the implementation to acquire Halim’s shares was completed on Oct 8, 2001. I affirmed that the takeover of Halim’s stake was not done compulsorily, as there had been a series of negotiations to finalise the compensation that should be paid,” he said.

“In Halim’s letter to Dr Mahathir on Nov 13, 2002, Halim let Dr Mahathir decide on the adequate compensation to be paid to him (Halim). He (Halim) stipulated that what he wanted was to be free of debt,” the former minister (Nor Mohamed) added.

In a letter from Halim dated May 13, 2003 to Khazanah, Nor Mohamed said Halim said he was in agreement to receive RM165 million as the final settlement amount to the claim for the losses he suffered in losing control of Renong Bhd and the UEM group.

Nor said by extension of Halim’s letter, Halim was paid the RM165 million by Khazanah via two tranches, namely RM45 million on May 22, 2003 and the second tranche of RM120 million on May 26, 2003.

He added that Halim had agreed to receive the compensation of RM165 million, despite claiming that it was not ample compensation.

“However, this is not the first time that Halim had filed this suit as a result of him not being satisfied with the compensatory amount, and he filed a RM1.3 billion suit in 2013, where the defendants including myself (Nor Mohamed), filed a striking out application at the High Court.

“Halim claimed there was an agreement as cited in his letters dated July 18, 2001, over the terms of compensation by Khazanah but Dr Mahathir did not give a response or answer. As a result, the High Court decided there was no agreement which bound both parties as per the alleged letters on July 18, 2001.

“The court further ruled to strike out the suit based on it being filed way past the limitation period, as it should have been filed by 2008,” Nor Mohamed said, adding that Halim’s new suit is also bound by the Limitation Act 1953.

Prior to this, Halim maintained allegations of being forced by Mahathir and Nor Mohamed to sell his stake in Renong and UEM, hence causing a loss of property to him and constituting a breach of his rights.

The businessman (Halim) filed his latest suit in August this year, claiming he suffered losses as a result of concerted efforts by the authorities to stop his bid to take over UEM, which then owned prized assets — including the North South Expressway’s toll concession.

In the case management before High Court’s senior assistant registrar Nik Nur Amalina Mat Zaidan on Monday, all parties were also directed to exhaust affidavits to the striking out application that will be heard next year before Suzana.

Edited BySurin Murugiah
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