Ex-Sapura boss sues Rafizi over bailout issue

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Rafizi’s alleged libellous statements include remuneration Shahril had received.

Newly elected PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli has been hit by a lawsuit over the bailout issue of Sapura Energy Bhd (SEB).

In a blog posting today, the former Pandan MP said he was served the writ of summons by lawyers acting for former Sapura Energy CEO Shahril Shamsuddin on May 11.

However, the veteran politician reiterated that he is prepared to defend in court his statements linked to former premier Najib Abdul Razak’s urging the government to bail out Sapura Energy.

Rafizi contended that his statements were made to protect the public interest.

“The hearing of Shahril’s suit is an important milestone in our efforts to ensure the people’s investment in public institutions (such as Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Employees Provident Fund, Retirement Fund Incorporated, Tabung Haji and others) fulfil the required governance for public investments.

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“In an economic structure that involves large investments of the people’s money in public listed companies, the required governance for public investments must be tighter to prevent loss of the people’s savings when these companies incur major losses,” Rafizi wrote.

According to the posting, Rafizi is represented by lawyer Ranjit Singh from the law firm Ranjit Singh & Yeoh.

The PKR number two has been vocal about the problems facing Sapura Energy and the feasibility of Najib’s proposal for the government to bail out the public-listed firm.

It is understood that the civil action against Rafizi was over his alleged libellous statements, including remuneration Shahril had received.

Shahril had taken offence to a claim by Rafizi that Sapura Energy’s majority shareholders, led by Shahril, had taken out a total of RM1.33 billion, made up of RM1.1 billion in salaries and the rest in other payments and dividends.

Rafizi had claimed that this was triple the sum of RM440 million which the company paid out to the remaining shareholders in dividends.

Shahril has denied the allegations, with his lawyers stating that it was publicly known that his total remuneration between 2013 and 2021 was RM486.25 million.