Tajudin Ramli, Danaharta reach out-of-court settlement

(Bernama) – Former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) executive chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli and Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Bhd reached an out-of-court settlement on Tuesday concerning a civil suit filed six years ago over RM589mil in debts incurred by the corporate figure for the purchase of MAS shares.

His lawyer, Lim Kian Leong, informed the Court of Appeal’s three-man panel on the settlement here but did not disclose to the court the terms of settlement.

Danaharta’s counsel, Tommy Thomas, confirmed the settlement.

Lim consequently, told the court that Tajudin wished to withdraw all appeals against Pengurusan Danaharta, two of its subsidiaries and 24 other respondents he had named in his counter-claim.

Justice Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin, who chaired the panel, subsequently struck out all the appeals.

The panel, also comprising justices Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad and Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin, ordered Tajudin to pay some of the respondents a sum of RM15,000 each in legal costs and RM5,000 costs to the government of Malaysia for the proceedings in the Court of Appeal.

Pengurusan Danaharta, Danaharta Urus Sdn Bhd and Danaharta Managers Sdn Bhd and their officers did not seek legal costs.

Earlier, Lim told the panel that Tajudin and Danaharta had ironed out all glitches faced by both parties on Monday concerning the terms of settlement.

On Monday, the court allowed Lim’s application to adjourn the appeals to Tuesday to enable Tajudin and Danaharta to resolve “a last minute hiccup”.

In the spirit of the settlement reached by Tajudin and Danaharta, Lim on Tuesday requested that all parties bear their own legal costs for proceedings at the Court of Appeal and High Court.

Except for Danaharta, the other respondents insisted that Tajudin pay their legal costs.

In 2009, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered Tajudin to pay RM589mil to Danaharta which manages unpaid loans, following debts incurred by him (Tajudin) when purchasing MAS shares.

The amount was the balance of a RM1.79bil loan given to him by a group of lenders to finance the purchase of a 32 percent stake in MAS in 1994.

In allowing Danaharta’s civil suit against Tajudin, the High Court ordered him to pay Danaharta the principal sum owed at Dec 31, 2005, of RM589,143,205.57 plus interest at two percent above Malayan Banking Bhd‘s base lending rate from Jan 1, 2006, until realisation.

The High Court struck out Tajudin’s RM13.46bil counter-claim he filed against 24 respondents, including Danaharta, two of its subsidiaries and officers Datuk Azman Yahya, Datuk Abdul Hamidy Hafiz and Datuk Zukri Samat and Datuk Kris Azman Abdullah.

They were Naluri Corporation Bhd special administrators Mohamad Raslan Abdul Rahman, Ooi Woon Chee and Gan Ah Tee, Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Telekom Enterprise Sdn Bhd, Technology Resources Industries Berhad, Celcom (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Commerce International Merchant Bankers Berhad (CIMB), Atlan Holdings Bhd, Atlan Properties Sdn Bhd, Multi Esprit Sdn Bhd, Datuk Seri Adam Sani Abdullah, Datuk Ong Kim Hoay, Datuk Khalid Mohamad Jiwa and Datuk Ong Kar Beau, Government of Malaysia and Naluri Corporation Berhad.

In his statement of claim, Tajudin had stated that then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had instructed him to acquire a 32 percent stake in MAS to bail out Bank Negara which had experienced foreign exchange losses.

Lim also told the court that Tajudin was trying to resolve some other appeals involving him and other parties, including Malaysia Airline System, which had been set for hearing at the Court of Appeal on Thursday.

He said in the spirit of the settlement achieved by Tajudin and Danaharta, his client also hoped to settle his other civil suits.

Lim said he would make a formal application for adjournment of those appeals.