UEM-Renong case: Dr M, two others ordered to file defence statement

13 Sep 2023 05:21pm
Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir.

KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court here today ordered former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others to file their statement of defence by Oct 6, in the lawsuit filed by tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad over the government's takeover of United Engineers Malaysia (UEM) Bhd and Renong Bhd.

The two other defendants named in the suit are former Finance Minister II Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and the government.

Federal counsel Imtiyaz Wizni Aufa Othman, who is representing the three defendants, said the court also ordered the plaintiff, Halim, to file his reply to the defence by or on Oct 23.

"The court set Nov 20 for the next case management and any interlocutory application must be filed by Nov 20 as well,” she said when contacted after the e-Review case management before High Court senior assistant registrar Nik Nur Amalina Mat Zaidan today.

Halim filed the suit on Aug 2 seeking compensation for the losses he suffered after the takeover of Renong Bhd and UEM shares by the government, nearly 23 years ago.

Based on his statement of claim, Halim, who is former executive chairman and director of Renong, had intended to make a general offer to buy out UEM and privatise it as a subsidiary of Renong, which would have enabled him to gain full control and ownership of the company.

However, the plaintiff alleged that he was instructed by Dr Mahathir and Nor Mohamed not to pursue the deal as the government intended to take over all UEM shares through Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah) or a party selected by Khazanah.

"I was also directed to divest my shareholding in UEM and Renong as well as my directorship of the two companies and their subsidiaries. This obligated me to relinquish control over Renong and UEM to the government and dispose of my shares at a loss,” he said in the statement of claim.

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Halim claimed that Khazanah had acquired the entirety of UEM shares through its subsidiary, Danasaham Sdn Bhd and gained control over UEM, which owned 32.6 per cent of Renong shares.

Therefore, Halim is seeking compensation for the forced takeover by the government between July and October 2001 and a declaration that he is a Renong shareholder.

In 2013, Halim filed a RM1.8 billion suit against the government, Khazanah and Nor Mohamed but the High Court here dismissed the suit and he also failed in his appeal at the Federal Court in 2015. - BERNAMA

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