Hearing of Synergy Promenade RM100m defamation suit against ex-Felda chairman set for March 2020

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 2): The hearing for property developer Synergy Promenade Sdn Bhd's RM100 million defamation suit against former Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad will start in March next year.

Lawyer Leonard D'Cruz of Chetan Jethwani & Co, representing Synergy Promenade, told reporters that the High Court had fixed March 26 and March 27, 2020, for the trial.

Meanwhile, the next case management for the suit is slated for Oct 16, 2019, he said, following an in-chamber case management today before High Court Justice Datuk Indera Mohd Sofian Abdul Razak.

Shahrir was represented by law firm Zul Rafique & Partners.

Synergy Promenade, the master developer for the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City (KLVC) project at Jalan Semarak here, had in June 2018 filed the suit against Shahrir for tarnishing its image through his statements.

The company claimed that there were certain misrepresentation of facts in the public statements made by Shahrir.

Shahrir was appointed chairman of Felda after his predecessor, who is also his brother, Tan Sri Isa Samad, had left following the non-renewal of his contract.

Shahrir resigned on May 14, 2018, when he failed to retain his Johor Bahru parliamentary seat in the 14th general election.

The developer was involved in the transfer of 16 parcels of land in Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur — measuring 16.06 acres and worth RM270 million — to itself and its unit Synergy Promenade KLVC Sdn Bhd through four agreements on Dec 2, 2015, and Nov 7, 2016.

Former deputy minister in the prime minister's department Datuk Razali Ibrahim confirmed in March last year that Isa enabled the land transfers after signing the power of attorney on June 3, 2014, that gave Synergy Promenade the right to convert the land titles to its name.

On June 2, 2014, Felda's investment arm, Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd (FIC), signed a master developer agreement with it to develop the KLVC, featuring seven towers including Felda's KLVC Tower 1A, on 24 pieces of land.

It is believed that the project, which is said to have a gross development value of RM6 billion, is the largest handled by Synergy Promenade.

Meanwhile, the land parcels and its titles were transferred back to Felda in January 2018 at no cost amid a forensic audit of scandal-ridden FIC by an external firm.

It was previously reported the KLVC project would continue as development approvals had already been obtained, but Felda would negotiate with Synergy Promenade for better terms for the project.

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