Thursday, January 28, 2010

‘Shariah Court has no jurisdiction’

by Bhupinder Singh Kuala Lumpur High Court Justice K Anantham last Friday ruled that Shariah Courts had no jurisdiction over corporate entities in a case involving the children of the late Tan Sri Syed Kechik Syed Mohamed Al-Bukhary, according to media reports. He made the ruling on an application by sisters Sharifah Zarah and Sharifah Munira to set aside the injunction obtained by their brother, Syed Gamal, at the Kuala Lumpur Shariah Court on Sept 14, 2009, to stop the sale or liquidation of his 44% stake in Syed Kechik Holdings Sdn Bhd.
The three offsprings of the late businessman have gone to court to fight over the RM400 million estate he left behind upon his passing at the age of 81 in April last year.
According to reports, Syed Gamal said he would appeal against the decision and continue to pursue his rights according to 'Faraid' law when met by reporters outside the courtroom. The late Syed Kechik was the father in law of the billionaire businessman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who controls the nation's rice and sugar business and also is chairman of the Al-Bukhary Foundation. Among others, during his lifetime, Syed Kechik had served as Legal Adviser to then Sabah Chief Minister from 1968 until 1975.
Syed Kechik was also political secretary to then Information and Broadcasting Minister Datuk Senu Abdul Rahman from 1964 to 1965. Syed Kechik left behind a wife, Puan Sri Sofiah Abdullah, three children and 12 grandchildren.

(This story appeared in The Malaysian Reserve on 19 Jan 2010. The Malaysian Reserve is a daily business/finance newspaper published out of Kuala Lumpur, with a sectoral page on Islamic finance on Mondays, edited by Habhajan Singh)