Halim Saad sues Dr M over 2001 Renong-UEM affair

KUALA LUMPUR: Businessman Tan Sri Halim Saad has sued Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others over losses he allegedly suffered during the government’s takeover of United Engineers Malaysia Bhd (UEM) and Renong Bhd in 2001.

The 69-year-old businessman filed the lawsuit at the High Court registry through Messrs Malik Imtiaz Sarwar on Aug 2, naming Dr Mahathir, 98, former finance II minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, 76, and the government as the first, second and third defendants, respectively.

In the statement of claim, Halim said the government had made a compulsory acquisition by virtue of Khazanah Nasional Bhd through its subsidiary Danasaham Sdn Bhd, effecting a take-over of UEM between July and October 2001, which resulted in Halim’s Renong shares being devalued.

At the material time, he claimed that Renong held 37.92% shares in UEM and that he was the single-largest individual shareholder in Renong, with control of the conglomerate.

Halim said he had intended to make a general offer for UEM, either through Renong or jointly with Renong, to take it private as a subsidiary of Renong where this would have enabled him control and full ownership of UEM through Renong.

“The plaintiff was, however, directed by Dr Mahathir, by Dr Mahathir directly and through Nor Mohamed, not to proceed as the government wanted, instead, to acquire all the shares in UEM through a designated entity, Khazanah or a party it was to nominate.

“In line with this, the plaintiff was also directed to exit both UEM and Renong, both as shareholder and director including in subsidiaries of the said companies.

“This required the plaintiff to cede his control over Renong and UEM to the government and to eventually dispose of the plaintiff’s Renong shares at a loss,” Halim said.

He added that the Renong shares belonged to him and not “Umno Baru” and that Dr Mahathir and Nor Mohamed had acted on behalf of the government and were the prime movers in respect of the said compulsory acquisition and deprivation.

He said he complied with the directives from Dr Mahathir as the latter was then the prime minister and finance minister.

Halim said the acquisition and the deprivation of his rights as the controlling shareholder of Renong, which were key aspects of the acquisition exercise by the government, were effected or caused without any compensation being paid to him and this was in breach of Article 13 of the Federal Constitution.

He added that the failure to pay compensation was also in violation of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution whereby the government had acted without regard to the plaintiff’s equal protection before the law and, further, discriminated against him by denying his equality before the law.

The plaintiff is seeking a court order for the government to pay the plaintiff an unspecified compensation, or alternatively, general damages to be assessed by the court, as well as exemplary and aggravated damages, interests, costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

The lawsuit is fixed for case management on Sept 13.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Business News

Public Bank's net profit rises to RM1.7bil in 3Q
Mah Sing records RM1.8bil property sales in 9MFY23
Bursa Malaysia loses early gains as Asian markets falter
Farm Fresh expansion plans, recovering profit margin bolster outlook
Ringgit continues uptrend against US$
Bursa stays sideways pending fresh leads, US rate clarity
Trading ideas: KPJ, PetChem, Press Metal, IOI, KLCCP, Bank Islam, Gas Malaysia, IGB, Leong Hip, Farm Fresh and WCE
Stagger targeted subsidy initiatives
Thong Guan sees soft demand and higher expenses
Westports year-end volume growth likely at 5% to 6%

Others Also Read