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The Stamford Land Conspiracy Matter

The Stamford Land Conspiracy Matter

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Published by openid_OtVX6n9h
The following are excerpts from various reports about a matter heard in the mid-90s, in which Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and others were sued by property developer Stamford Holdings S/B:
The following are excerpts from various reports about a matter heard in the mid-90s, in which Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and others were sued by property developer Stamford Holdings S/B:

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Published by: openid_OtVX6n9h on Aug 16, 2009
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Just in case you thought No.2 is squeaky cleanThe Muhyiddin-Stamford Land Conspiracy MatterThe following are excerpts from various reports about a matter heard in the mid-90s, in which Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and others were sued by property developerStamford Holdings S/B:Stamford Holdings Sdn. Bhd. has sued Muhyiddin Yassin, chief minister of the Johorstate, and businessmen Yahya Talib and Syed Mokhtar Albukhary for damages foralleged conspiracy in acquiring land in Johor through the Land Acquisition Act,the Bernama national news agency reported Friday.According to Bernama, Stamford Holdings claimed the three had abused provisions ofthe Act to acquire its 6,600 acres of land through the Johor State IslamicEconomic Development Corporation.The suit was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court early this month but wastransferred Friday to the Johor Baru High Court, Bernama said.Stamford Holdings also named the Johor state government as a defendant in thesuit, alleging that Muhyiddin and the two businessmen conspired to use the stategovernment's authority to acquire the land.According to the news report, Stamford Holdings wants the court to declare thatthe Johor State Islamic Economic Development Corporation was not entitled toinvoke provisions of the Land Acquisition Act to acquire a private landedproperty.(Malaysia's Stamford Sues Minister, Businessmen - Report17 February 1995)The facts of the matter as reported by Murray Hiebert , FEER:Stamford's court documents insist that the company's relationship with the formerchief minister dates back to 1988. Four years earlier, the firm had tried todevelop some of its huge land holdings near the state capital of Johor Baru. ButStamford couldn't get approval for its project until its directors met two men whowere allegedly Muhyiddin's business partners, Syed Mokhtar Albukhary and DatukYahaya Tabib.The two arranged a meeting in Singapore between the firm's representatives and theformer chief minister, the firm's documents allege. Within a year, Stamford andthe three men had formed a 70-30 joint venture to develop some 724 hectares ofland. When the property was sold in 1994, the Muhyiddin group's initial investmentof M$1.8 million ($735,000) had soared to M$83 million.In the meantime, Muhyiddin's group had become "very avaricious," according to thedocuments Stamford filed in court, and wanted to form a second joint venture inwhich they would control 70% of the shares but would pay Stamford only M$74,100per hectare for its remaining 2,672 hectares, company officials charge.When Stamford insisted on retaining its original 70% and on being paid M$185,250per hectare for its property, one of Muhyiddin's associates allegedly warned thecompany that the land-acquisition papers were on the former chief minister's deskand could be "signed at any time." Muhyiddin himself allegedly threatened Stamfordin December 1992 by telling one of its directors that "time is getting short." InJuly 1994, the state government acquired the land on behalf of the Johor Islamic
Economic Development Corp.(MALAYSIA --- The Privileged FewBy Murray Hiebert in Kuala Lumpur6 July 1995,Far Eastern Economic Review)The facts of the matter as reported by Raphael Pura , AWSJ :In 1984, Stamford -- which is 90% owned by three families, the Singapore-basedSeet family, and the Gan and Wang families from Malaysia -- applied to the Johorgovernment for permission to develop a light industrial estate on part of theland. Stamford, in its suit, claims nothing happened until 1988. Then, Stamforddirectors met businessmen Syed Mokhtar and Datuk Yahaya, who said they were TanSri Muhyiddin's "close friends and business associates," according to the Stamfordsuit.According to Stamford's court submission, the company in late 1989 agreed withSyed Mokhtar and Datuk Yahaya, "acting for themselves and [Tan Sri Muhyiddin]," tocreate a joint-venture company to develop 1,766 acres of Stamford's property. TheJohor trio, led by Syed Mokhtar, invested 1.8 million ringgit in the jointventure, taking 30% of its equity; Stamford held the remainder. The joint-venturecompany acquired the property from Stamford and submitted a fresh application toconvert it to industrial use. The Johor government then approved the conversion"speedily," Stamford says in its suit in which it also alleges that the Mokhtargroup "made a clean profit of 83.2 million."According to Stamford, the Mokhtar group in 1992 approached Stamford's directors,proposing to develop the remaining 6,520 acres of Stamford's Johor property. Thistime, Stamford alleges, the group insisted on taking a 70% equity stake in a newjoint venture and proposed that Stamford's land be sold to the venture at 30,000ringgit an acre. Stamford protested that it wanted to hold 70% of the venture andshould be paid more than twice that price for the land.(Malaysian Company Continues Suit Challenging State Acquisition of Land | ByRaphael Pura - Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal | 16 June 1995,The WallStreet Journal)The case concluded in an out of court settlementThe land acquisition civil suit filed by a firm against the Johor government andseveral other parties was settled today for a total of RM405 million.The High Court ordered Stamford Holdings Sdn Bhd to be paid the amount for theacquisition of 6,544 acres of land belonging to it.The consent order was given by Justice Zainun Ali in chambers.Under the settlement, the Johor government is to pay the plaintiff RM313.25million while Kelana Ventures Sdn Bhd was ordered to pay RM92.12 million.Datuk V. Sivaparanjothi and Manjit Singh appeared for the plaintiff while DatukAbdul Aziz Abdul Rahim appeared for the Johor State Government, Johor Baru LandAdministrator and former Mentri Besar Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.Roger Tan Kor Mee appeared for Perbadanan Kemajuan Ekonomi Islam Negeri Johor.

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