Take a leaf from FGV's suits to recover lost monies, 1MDB told

Modified 2 Dec 2018, 6:52 am

The current management of 1MDB should take a leaf from FGV Holdings Bhd (FGV) and sue its former directors to recover over half a billion ringgit lost due to alleged dereliction of duty, says DAP lawmaker Lim Lip Eng.

"1MDB is being investigated by no less than 10 foreign law enforcement agencies, and it is possible that the (alleged) perpetrators have money stashed away globally.

"Once a civil suit is initiated, 1MDB can apply to the court for a worldwide Mareva injunction to restrain defendants from disposing of, or dealing with, any of their assets, including monies held in bank accounts, whether in or outside Malaysia," he said in a statement today.

A Mareva injunction refers to a court order freezing the assets of a debtor to prevent them being removed or transferred elsewhere, such as abroad, and out of the court's jurisdiction.

Besides the beleaguered 1MDB, Lim said other GLCs should also adopt FGV's approach, given the many revelations of mismanagement and abuse of power by these companies under the previous BN administration. 

"This should also apply to other GLCs and government agencies, as week after week, MACC is uncovering more and more cases of power and financial abuse and wrongdoing during the previous regime.

"Those involved should not only be charged for their crimes, (but) legal proceedings should be initiated to recover the losses. 

"It is not sufficient to throw the book at these corrupted officials, we have to put in our best effort to recover the money taken," he said.

Last week, FGV filed two separate suits against its former directors.

In the first, the company is seeking to recover RM514 million from 14 of its former directors or executives.

The sum is to cover losses due to the 2014 acquisition of Asian Plantation Limited (APL) – a Singapore-based company with assets in Sarawak, but listed on the London Stock Exchange.

FGV reportedly accused those named of failing to discharge their respective fiduciary duty, duty of fidelity and/or duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence.

Among the 14 named is former chairperson Mohd Isa Abdul Samad and former group president and CEO Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah.

FGV had acquired APL for a total cash consideration of £120 million (RM628 million at the time), at a 5.4 percent premium over APL's weighted average price.

The company began investigating the deal last year due to allegations that much of the land acquired by APL was unsuitable for oil palm plantations, among others. 

In the second suit, filed on Friday against Isa and Emir, FGV is seeking RM12 million on top of damages.

The suit pertains to the purchase of two units of luxury condominiums in the capital city which the company alleged was made at significantly higher prices than market value.

It also accused Emir of misusing his company cars and petrol privileges.

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