Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, the founder and adviser of property conglomerate Country Heights Holdings Berhad, today said he is challenging the bankruptcy declaration brought against him by a former US-based consultant whom he once considered a friend.
He said he will only submit to Malaysian jurisdiction and confirmed that he has met with MDI officials two days ago, after having declared bankruptcy by the High Court in January.
“On April 17th, I submitted myself to MDI and filled in the reasons for my bankruptcy after having acknowledged receiving their notice.
“As a Malaysian citizen, I will only submit to Malaysian jurisdiction. The main thing now is I have to work hard to submit my statement of affairs and I am not going to delay its submission,” he told a news conference at the Mines Beach Resort this afternoon.
Lee added that the MDI told him to file his statement of affairs within 21 days.
“I told them to not give me any privileges and to give me the same courtesy as everyone else,” he said.
He also challenged his former consultant, Gerald Patrick Healy, to file his proof of debt with MDI if the latter wished to obtain the sum of RM3 million allegedly owed to him by way of a US arbitration court judgment.
Lee said he is unashamed of being declared bankrupt.
“I will not feel the shame of being bankrupt for a RM3 million case. However, I will feel shameful if I allow Healy to take away the RM3 million from me which I have made clear since the beginning that it is not money I owed him personally.”
Healy is a US citizen with a legal background and a former officer of Lee’s US-based Club Excellence Inc, which wound-up in February 2017.
Following the winding-up of the company, Lee said Healy then sought an arbitration order against him without his presence due to existing Covid-19 travel restrictions at that time.
Lee said Healy later obtained a judgment in the latter’s favour and filed a creditor’s petition against him at the Malaysian High Court in August 2020.
Today, Lee told reporters more details about how Healy obtained the US court judgment that awarded the latter US$722,000 (roughly RM3 million).
He claimed Healy had used a Nevada state law against him as that was where Club Excellence Inc had been based.
“The reason and the cause of this RM3 million is not the money I owed to or borrowed from Patrick Healy personally. He worked for the company, was paid by the company, but based on the term ‘alter-ego’,” Lee said.
Lee said it was hard for him to explain the legal meaning of the term.
Malay Mail’s check on US law websites showed that in Nevada, the “alter ego” doctrine allows individuals to form corporations as a shield against personal liability.
This means that if a corporation fails to pay a debt, the corporation itself is liable and not its individual owners or operators.
However, the “alter ego” doctrine that is also known as “piercing the corporate veil”, individuals may be liable for the actions of their corporations in certain circumstances.
Lee reiterated that publicising the e-Insolvency bankruptcy search result transaction was unethical and an attempt to exert pressure on him.
“The damage of this screenshot has caused so much problem, it doesn’t affect me much, but it affected a lot of business associates, and my staff, they all thought they would lose their jobs.
“The damage of this ill-intentioned screenshot, in legal terms it’s called mala fide,” he said.
The word of Latin origin means “in bad faith”.
Lee called on the public to respect the rule of law and to stop spreading unfounded remarks about his case. – MMO