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8 Years And Family Dispute Over The Estate Of Jamaluddin Jarjis Worth RM2.1 Billion Continues

8 Years And Family Dispute Over The Estate Of Jamaluddin Jarjis Worth RM2.1 Billion Continues

The parties involved failed to reach an out of court settlement and will proceed to go to trial.

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It’s been almost 8 years and the dispute over the late Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis’s asset distribution remains unresolved. Recent news reports say that the new date for the trial is set for 9 October.

To get a gist of what’s happening, we laid out a simple chronology of the drama since the death of the former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Here are the family members involved in the case:

  • Aminah Abdullah (89): Jamaluddin Jarjis’s mother.
  • Kalsom Ismail (67): Jamaluddin Jarjis’s wife.
  • Nur Anis (38), Ikhwan Hafiz (36), Nurul Alyaa (32), and Noor Adilla (28): Jamaluddin Jarjis’s four children.
JJ’s mother, Aminah Abdullah (left) and JJ’s wife, Kalsom Ismail (right).
(Credit: Berita Harian)

Here’s a chronological overview of the lengthy case since 2015.

Jamaluddin was killed in a helicopter crash in Semenyih with five others, his pilot, Captain Clifford William Fournier, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private secretary Datuk Seri Azlin Alias, businessman Datuk Tan Huat Seang, Jamaludin’s personal aide Razakan Seran and a woman known as Aidana Baizieva. 

September 2016
Investigations found that pilot negligence was a factor in the crash when the chopper exploded mid-air.

October 2016
Ikhwan Hafiz obtained a faraid (Islamic law of inheritance) certificate from the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court.

July 2017
Jamaluddin’s children, Nur Anis and Ikhwan Hafiz were appointed administrators of Jamaluddin’s estate to distribute the properties following Islamic law after they applied for it back in June.

29 Aug 2018

  • As reported by NST, Aminah filed a lawsuit on 2 March seeking a share of her son’s assets worth RM2.1 billion at the Syariah Court.
  • She also sought the court to issue the Islamic wealth distribution (faraid) certificate for this matter.
  • According to faraid law, the mother gets one-sixth of the estate’s assets, the wife gets one-eighth and the remainder is shared among the children, with the men getting more than the women.

1 Sept 2018

  • Questions arose about how JJ became a billionaire and some pointed to Najib, as they were quite close when he became the Prime Minister.
  • Malaysiakini reported that Najib said JJ was already successfully rich and well-known before he worked for him.
  • Najib further said that JJ bought the company EPE Power in 1986 which was listed in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in the 1990s. This is when he accumulated his wealth to invest in other projects that generated revenues.

October 2018

  • Kalsom who was also a former dentist, sued to obtain her share of jointly acquired matrimonial properties naming her four children and mother-in-law as defendants.
  • She filed the suit to get 50% of Jamaluddin’s moveable and immovable properties acquired in Malaysia and overseas valued at RM2.1 billion from the deceased’s estate.
  • If she succeeds in her suit, she will be entitled to 50% and another one-eighth under the hukum faraid.

14 Nov 2018

  • Quoting FMT, Aminah filed a defence to challenge Kalsom’s right to matrimonial properties.
  • She also claimed Jamaluddin had acquired the properties before they were married and without any contribution from Kalsom.
  • Initially, Kalsom and her 4 children raised a preliminary objection that Aminah could not apply to get an inheritance certificate. But Aminah received the copy only after she filed an application in early 2018.

13 Feb 2019

  • The Borneo Post reported that Aminah filed a suit on 3 January against her two grandchildren over their failure to include three company shares, worth RM1.3 billion.
  • The companies included Rantai Wawasan Sdn Bhd, Alpine Motion Sdn Bhd and Ivory Insight Wawasan Sdn Bhd.
  • Aminah accused them of intentionally omitting these assets as part of the deceased’s estate to deny her the rights and interest as a beneficiary.
  • They also failed to include a RM10 million apartment in the United States, in the list of Jamaludin’s assets.
  • She also claimed Ikwan Hafiz failed to inform her that the Syariah High Court had issued her the faraid certificate on Jamaludin’s estate on 6 Oct 2016.
  • Aminah sought a court order for her name to be included as joint administrator of Jamaludin’s estate as she is the biological mother and for the two defendants to pay dividends, bonus and profit from the shares in the three companies. 
(Credit: Freepik)

7 Feb 2020

  • Citing Edge Prop, Aminah said she never received anything since his death.
  • After his death, she was present at the family meeting to discuss the division of his assets but she didn’t speak anything then.
  • She remembered being shown an agreement, although she could not read or write.

19 Feb 2020

  • Aminah denied she was shown a certificate on her son’s assets by Ikhwan Hafiz previously.

21 Feb 2020

  • Nur Anis said JJ’s estate was not yet distributed as liabilities needed to be determined, reported Edge Prop.
  • Under a draft of the deed of family arrangement, Aminah was entitled to get a house in Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur, which she is residing in currently, a piece of property in Mecca, about RM870,000 in Jamaluddin’s Employees Provident Fund savings as well as 50% of the RM180,000 in his Tabung Haji savings.
  • But she declined and asked the assets to be distributed according to Syariah laws, in which Nur Anis said they needed more time to calculate his liabilities too.
  • As for the faraid certificate, Aminah was only shown the certificate sometime in 2018 because they didn’t know who her solicitor was back then and it was difficult.
  • Nur Anis claimed that they wanted to show her and wrote many letters to her to conduct a family meeting but they never got anything back.

14 Aug 2021

  • According to The Malaysian Reserve, Aminah succeeded in her bid to include three million shares in Rantai Wawasan Sdn Bhd in the list of her son’s estate.
  • However, the High Court ruled against Aminah in respect of the other two company shares, Ivory Insight and Alpine Motion.
  • But still, Nur Anis and Ikwan Hafiz had to pay costs of RM80,000 to their grandmother.
Aminah Abdullah in a wheelchair pushed by Mohamed Najeb Ali (Jamaluddin Jarjis’s half-brother) and their lawyer, Nur Hidayah A. Bakar.
(Credit: Utusan Malaysia)

17 Aug 2021

  • Citing The Edge Malaysia, Aminah sued her grandchildren again for keeping RM21.3 million in the bank and not including it in the total assets.
  • She discovered that her son had multiple bank accounts in various countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, with a total deposit of RM21.351 million as of May 2019.
  • After deducting his debts of RM7.607 million at that time, there was RM13.743 million available for distribution. She is entitled to one-sixth of this (RM2.29 million).
  • She claimed the two were reluctant to distribute this money, leading her to seek a court order for them to do so.

5 Apr 2022

  • As reported by FMT, Aminah moved to block Kalsom’s bid for RM1 billion assets by opposing her application to amend her statement of claim to obtain her share in jointly acquired matrimonial assets.
  • In March, Kalsom filed the application to exclude several assets, one of which is a property in Boston in the US.

28 July 2022

  • Nur Anis and Ikhwan Hafiz successfully struck out the suit filed by Aminah regarding the distribution of their late father’s RM2.29 million in cash, kept in local and foreign bank accounts.
  • Aminah had to pay RM15,000 to each of them.

28 Aug 2022

  • According to Utusan Malaysia, the court granted Kalsom’s application to amend the statement of claim, including removing the word “property” in Boston, the United States, from the statement of claim.
  • Other things included in the amended statement of claim include shares in the Rantai Wawasan company, issues related to indirect contributions to Jamaludin’s care during his leg injury, and issues related to land in Gombak.

1 Nov 2022

  • Kalsom agreed to settle the legal dispute over matrimonial property worth RM1 billion with her four children and Aminah out of court.

11 Sept 2023

  • Lastly, Malaymail reported that everyone will go to trial again after they fail to reach an agreement and resolve the matter amicably at the Syariah High Court.
  • The judge also fixed Oct 9 for mention to fix a hearing date.
Ikhwan Hafiz, Kalsom Ismail and Nur Anis on 11 September 2023.
(Credit: Bernama)

Who is Jamaluddin Jarjis

Jamaluddin Mohd Jarjis, informally known as JJ, was Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation from 2004 to 2008 under the Umno administration. He was also the second Minister of Finance (2002 – 2004), the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (2004), and the Malaysian Ambassador to the US (2009 – 2012).

Besides being in the Umno Supreme Council (2008-2011) and the 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) Programme chairman, JJ was also a Member of Parliament for Rompin, from 1990 till his death in 2015.

Jamaluddin passed away in the helicopter crash near Semenyih with five others in April 2015. They attended the wedding reception of Najib’s daughter in Pekan at the time. The helicopter was travelling in from Pekan en route to Kuala Lumpur and crashed at Kampung Sungai Pening, Semenyih, Selangor, at 4.55 pm.

(Credit: FMT, Yahoo News)

Early life

JJ was born and bred in Pekan, Pahang.

Aminah was divorced from Jamaluddin’s father, former Pahang police chief in 1954 and raised Jamaluddin alone as a single mother when he was very young. According to Edge Prop, every day, she would take him to an English school 11 km away from their home on foot.

She sewed clothes and planted cucumbers to support them both, adding that her ex-husband didn’t offer any money at all to ease the burden.

She wanted to send him to an English School so he could have a bright future, which he did when he got an offer to study at Sultan Abu Bakar School in Kuantan. Subsequently, he received a scholarship to study in England (Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering) and Canada (Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and PhD in Electrical Engineering – Power Systems).

He returned to become a lecturer in UTM and said that he needed to borrow RM70,000 from a piece of his mother’s land to open up a factory. A few years later, he established Teras Dara Konsortium Sdn Bhd and proceeded to do various business in various fields.

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