Arul Kanda files RM56.7m counterclaim over wrongful termination

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Former president and chief executive officer of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Arul Kanda Kandasamy, has filed a counterclaim of RM56.7mil for alleged wrongful termination of his contract.

Azman Ghani/The Star

Arul Kanda, as the first defendant in a lawsuit brought by 1MDB, filed the counterclaim in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Nov 17 through Messrs Sanjay Mohan.

Based on documents obtained by the media, Arul Kanda is seeking from the company RM202,600 for loss of income, a bonus of RM2.5mil, special damages of RM54mil (loss of income from June 2019 to 2036) in addition to general, exemplary and aggravated damages.

According to Arul Kanda, his employment contract had ended on Dec 31, 2017, but after discussions were held, the 1MDB board agreed to extend it and a new agreement was signed on Feb 23, 2018.

He claimed that according to the extended employment agreement, 1MDB had agreed to pay him a monthly salary of RM101,300 until June 30, 2018, and an ex-gratia bonus of RM2.5mil, in addition to his salary for January to April 2018 amounting to RM405,200.

However, he claimed that the then Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had made various allegations, including stating that the former CEO was dishonest and untrustworthy in an article published by a news portal on May 24, 2018.

Arul Kanda claimed that on June 25, 2018, 1MDB wrongfully terminated his contract without any basis and without any investigation to conclude that he had acted against the company’s interests.

The former 1MDB CEO also alleged that the termination of his contract was done without any evidence of wrongdoing to prevent the company from making salary payments for May and June 2018 amounting to RM202,600 and the remaining ex-gratia bonus of RM2.5mil.

In addition, Arul Kanda also filed an application to amend his defence statement in the suit filed by 1MDB, and the case management is set for Dec 4.