The strange case of Benjamin Button – eh, Sime Darby.


For a brief moment, most of us were probably reassured at the solemnness by which Sime Darby attempted to seek retribution. They lost RM 2.1 billion; they seek to recover a total of RM 430 billion. This amount must be what the forensic auditors recommended. RM 430 is a pure loss through breach of duty and management negligence. The balance of the loss is operational loss and can happen through the ordinary course of business operations. The balance loss is therefore justifiable and not subject to recovery. 

I don’t know what to say- you lose this amount of money, all you can come up with, is a civil suit? How dumb can that be? Why no criminal charges proffered? Sime doesn’t know the meaning of corruption? 

How will Sime seek to prove management negligence and breach of duty? Is there some golden rule, you depart from which constitutes a breach of duty? Breach of duty means what? Negligent? Then when Idris Jala lost many millions of money through his negligent hedging should be asked to pay back the money MAS lost? 

Nor Yaakob who has gone crying to see Tun Mahathir, horrified at the thought that he may be shown the exit from cabinet this time, should also be asked to pay back the money he lost when speculating on our currency. There are so many examples which will readily suggest that the move by Sime to recover money through civil suits is a stupid move. 

How do you define breach of duty and negligence in business matters? 

Some people in Sime Darby who were before that, were probably touted as exemplary managers and excellent talent, were found to have caused Sime Darby to lose RM2.1 billion.

Sime is now seeking recovery for 338 million from 4 people. It is further seeking recovery of another RM92 million. This means the total amount intended to be recovered is 430million. This will also mean that out of the 2.1 billion lost, if only 430 billion is the recoverable amount, then the loss of RM1.6 billion is considered loss from business operations. That is acceptable? 

Clever, man.