Shahrir faces RM100m defamation lawsuit

Ex-Felda chairman sued by KLVC’s master developer, Synergy Promenade

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By TMR

Former Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad (picture) has been hit by a RM100 million lawsuit for damaging the reputation of a property developer.

Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd, the master developer for the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City (KLVC), filed a defamation suit through Messrs Reza Rahim & Rajivan at the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday.

Synergy Promenade claimed that the former Felda chief made slanderous statements against the company between December 2017 and March 2018, which had tarnished the company’s image and reputation, and caused it to lose contracts and projects.

“This is a defamation and malicious falsehood case against Shahrir because there were certain misrepresentations of facts he made in public in the recovery of the land which tarnished the reputation of the company in the business world.

“The construction and development company lost several projects due to the mis-representations of facts,” counsel Reza Rahim for Synergy Promenade said in a statement.

The developer, which was allegedly involved in the dubious transfer of 16 parcels of land on Jalan Semarak, is seeking an injunction on Shahrir, in his personal capacity, from republishing his statements, as well as a public apology in five national newspapers, based on the company’s terms.

Shahrir made public Felda’s concerns over the potential loss of the plots in December last year. The state palm oil agency was at risk of losing its ownership of a strategic parcel of land worth an estimated RM270 million on Jalan Semarak, following a contentious transfer deal three years ago.

The transfer of ownership was believed to have taken place when Felda’s investment arm, Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd (FIC), appointed Synergy Promenade as its main developer in June 2014.

The land was intended for the KLVC development project, which involved the construction of seven towers — including Felda’s KLVC Tower 1A.

All decisions pertaining to the appointment of the company were believed to have been made by FIC, but was only made known to the Felda board of directors three months later, on Sept 2, 2014, for retrospective approval.

Synergy Promenade has since returned the land to Felda without any costs, while the latter denied it received any payment for the transfer of land. It is said that KLVC will continue as development approvals had been obtained, but Felda continues to seek for better terms for the project.