Company seeks RM53mil in special damages

PETALING JAYA: Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd has launched legal action against six former directors of the group and its subsidiary, Samalaju Industries Sdn Bhd, for allegedly breaching their fiduciary duties.

The company is claiming RM52.69mil in special damages, among others, from the individuals, including Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud’s son-in-law Datuk Syed Ahmad Alwee Alsree.

A source close to the company said the legal action would not only serve as a warning to current directors, senior management officials and employees, but also help to set internal corporate governance standards.

“Any action short of accepted quality of corporate governance will not be tolerated, going forward,” he told StarBiz.

Cahya Mata and Samalaju Industries had jointly filed a writ action against the individuals in the Kuching High Court yesterday.

Apart from Taib’s son-in-law, the other former directors are Syed Hizam Alsagoff, Goh Chii Yew, Goh Chii Bing, Isaac Lugun and Ling Koah Wi.

The legal action was undertaken following a special review report issued by KPMG Management & Risk Consulting Sdn Bhd.


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“This action is based on breaches of the fiduciary duties owed by the defendants to Cahya Mata and Samalaju Industries respectfully when the defendants were the directors of Cahya Mata and Samalaju Industries, in respect of development of an integrated phosphate additives plant situated in Samalaju Sarawak with Malaysian Phosphate Additives Sdn Bhd (MPA) as a joint-venture party.

“Cahya Mata and Samalaju Industries contend that the defendants have either jointly or severally committed various breaches of the fiduciary duties owed to Cahya Mata and Samalaju Industries,” the group said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Cahya Mata has also filed a writ action against Lim Lee Wan, a former director and managing director of Malaysian Phosphate Additives (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (MPAS).

The legal action was taken against Lim also due to a breach of fiduciary duties to MPAS in connection with the development of an integrated phosphate additives plant situated in Samalaju, Sarawak, with MPA as a joint-venture party.

MPAS had allegedly suffered losses because of the breach of fiduciary duties.

“There is no significant financial impact on Cahya Mata in commencing this legal action and furthermore there has not been a need to adjust the accounts for the respective years in question of the case as the said losses have been accounted for in the final accounts.

“Hence, there is a fair chance for Cahya Mata to succeed in this action subject to evidential proof and the performance of Cahya Mata’s witnesses in court,” said the group.

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