Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has settled its three lawsuits with its former chairperson Tajudin Ramli.
It is learnt that in return MAS will receive as part of the settlement a piece of land in Langkawi where a Four Seasons Hotel stands.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court is understood to have allowed both MAS and Tajudin to withdraw their suits and counter-claims respectively.
Justice Rosilah Yop presided over the case. Lawyers representing both parties were seen scuttling around after today’s proceedings. However, they kept mum over theb agreements reached today.
An announcement is to be made to the Bursa Malaysia later today.
MAS was represented by Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill, while the firm of Lim Kian Leong & Co appeared for Tajudin.
MAS, along with its subsidiary MAS Golden Holidays Sdn Bhd and MAS Hotels & Boutiques Sdn Bhd, had named Tajudin and his former companies Naluri Corporation Bhd, Promet (Langkawi) Resorts Sdn Bhd, Kauthar Venture Capital Sdn Bhd and Pakatan Permai Sdn Bhd as defendants in the first suit.
It claimed Tajudin had intentionally breached his duties or obligations and committed breach of trust by having MAS procure various contracts for his own interests.
It further claimed that Tajudin, as director and chairperson of MAS, had neglected advice given by the national carrier and did not take the reasonable steps incumbent upon an executive, resulting in MAS suffering losses.
MAS further claimed Tajudin had influenced the national carrier to continue a VIP chartering service with the purchase of a Boeing 737 Business jet for US$31 million in 1997, despite MAS suffering losses.
'Tajudin dishonestly concealed interests in firm'
The airline also claimed Tajudin had dishonestly concealed his interests in Cendanasari Insurance Brokers Sdn Bhd, in matters involving a parcel of land in Langkawi and a luxury yacht, Colombo Star.
MAS - along with MAS Cargo Sdn Bhd - also named Tajudin, former MASKargo vice-president Ralph Manfred Gotz, former MAS director Wan Aishah Wan Hamid and a former consultant, Uwe Juergen Beck, as defendants in a second lawsuit.
This involves the RM174 million MAS lost in the Hahn operations and RM27 million that MAS was ordered to pay as an award made in an ICC arbitration case involving ACL Hahn Advanced Cargo Logistics GmbH in Germany.
In the third suit, MAS Hotels and Boutiques Sdn Bhd is suing Pakatan Permai Sdn Bhd and Promet (Langkawi) Sdn Bhd, in which Tajudin is said to have an interest.
In return, Tajudin filed a RM500 million defence and counter-claim against MAS and the government, denying that he had breached his fiduciary duty or trust, or was fraudulent where his obligations were concerned.
He claimed that the MAS suit contains bare allegations, with no facts or circumstances to back them.
'MAS, government acted wih malice'
Tajudin denied all allegations of conspiracy and concealment, charging that these were brought on without any justification, were frivolous and vexatious and were an abuse of due process.
He claimed that MAS and the government, which owns a substantial stake in the airlines, had acted with malice and in bad faith in initiating the suit against him in order to cause injury, damage and embarrassment to him, his reputation and business.
He further said that the MAS report filed with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission against him was defamatory.
Tajudin wants the government to indemnify him, Promet and Kauthar for all losses and damages suffered as a result of the business actions. He claimed to have suffered losses following the government’s move to sell his stake in Naluri to Atlan Holdings Bhd.
He claimed that at all material times, he was acting as an appointee, representative agent, or servant of the government in the performance of a public duty and in the national interest.
Tajudin also claimed that the transactions complained about were all carried out at the request and direction of the government and that the former prime minister had been kept informed of all matters.
Initially the cases had been fixed for hearing but had been postponed several times.
Tajudin was reporterd to have settled his suits with other government-linked corporations (GLCs), but the terms of the settlements, recorded by the Court of Appeal, have not been disclosed.
This came despite a KL High Court order earlier, ordering Tajudin to pay RM589 million.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz was also reported last year to have directed several GLCs to settle their on-going disputes with Tajudin.
However, it is not known whether today's settlement is based on that directive or whether it is an independent decision by the MAS board because the lawyer representing MAS in the settlement is still from the same firm.