In court: Mahmud (right) and Shahnaz who are going through a divorce settlemente
KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak tycoon Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib said he only divorced his former wife Shahnaz A. Majid after 12 years of living apart because he did not want her to live in limbo without a husband.
Replying to his counsel Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar in the re-trial of RM100mil mutaah (conciliatory gift) claim as divorce settlement filed by Shahnaz at the Syariah Court here, Mahmud said he persuaded his former wife to accept a divorce by mutual consent but was refused.
He said he sent his lawyer Saadiah Din to meet Shahnaz to discuss the divorce proposal in 2009 but his former wife disallowed Saadiah to even come to her house.
“In 1999, I told my parents about my wish to divorce Shahnaz but they advised me not to proceed as our child was small that time,” he said.
He also said that the RM100mil mutaah as claimed by Shahnaz was unreasonable as although they had lived apart for 12 years from 1999 until their divorce in 2011, he still gave her money, a house and vehicles.
He said he gave Shahnaz RM10,000 a month “and sometimes more”.
He said he also gave Shahnaz a bungalow in Damansara which he had bought for about RM2mil at the time.
He also gave three vehicles - a Cherokee Jeep, an S Class Mercedes-Benz and a BMW X5 worth more than RM2mil - which were used by her company.
“I also bought a Ferrari for our son, who is a big fan of Ferrari.
“I bought the car under my name as he was small at that time.
After he grew up, I transferred the ownership to his name,” he said.
Shahnaz, who is the older sister of jazz queen Datuk Sheila Majid, is claiming RM400mil, of which RM300mil is matrimonial property as part of the divorce settlement.
She is also claiming 50% of all assets owned by Mahmud. This, includes luxury cars, houses in various locations, land in Sarawak and shares.
The judge adjourned the trial to Sept 2 and 8.