Sarawak tycoon: I married 2 other women without wife's consent

Sarawak tycoon: I married 2 other women without wife's consent

KUALA LUMPUR - Sarawak tycoon Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib testified that he married two women, an Australian and a Russian, without his former wife Shahnaz A. Majid's consent, the Syariah High Court here heard Wednesday.

Mahmud, 52, said he married Louise Aida Hiley between 1999 and 2000 in Narathiwat, Thailand, and were blessed with a son who was born in Brisbane, Australia, on June 4, 2001.

He, however, said that their marriage lasted for less than two years before he married Elena Vasilenko, also in Narathiwat, on April, 2003.

Mahmud was responding to a question by Shahnaz's counsel Akbardin Abdul Kader during cross-examination in the trial of the latter's RM100 million (S$36.8 million) mutaah (Islamic conciliatory payment) claim as a divorce settlement.

When questioned by Akbardin whether Mahmud agreed to his suggestion that he did not obtain Shahnaz's consent and approval from Syariah Court to practice polygamy, Mahmud replied, "Yes, I agree".

Earlier, he also said that he brought Hiley and her parents to his sister Hanifah Hajar's akad nikah (solemnisation) and wedding ceremony in 1999.

Questioned by Akbardin whether his father Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was the then Sarawak Chief Minister, agreed with his action of bringing Hiley to the wedding, Mahmud said, "For this Court's knowledge, the woman (Hiley) whom I brought to my sister's wedding, was my wife".

Mahmud also said he would not brought Hiley along if he was not married to her.

On August 2013, Shahnaz, 52, had testified that she only knew about the relationship between Mahmud and an Australian woman when he brought her to attend his sister's wedding.

Shahnaz, the older sister of singer Datuk Sheila Majid, said that Mahmud had a son with Hiley, but was not sure if he was married to her (Hiley).

Shahnaz also filed an application to get RM300 million in matrimonial property as a divorce settlement and is also claiming 50 per cent of all assets owned by Mahmud.

These include luxury cars, houses in various locations, land in Sarawak and various shares.

On Feb 26, 2013, the Syariah High Court granted an order by Shahnaz requiring Mahmud to pay an interim maintenance of RM902,746.69.

The interim maintenance applied by Shahnaz was for expenses incurred for their son who was born in 1993, from the time she and Mahmud divorced on March 11, 2011.

She is claiming an education trust fund of RM40 million and a RM60 million London terrace house and also seeking tuition fees in Britain amounting to RM315,000, two Aston Martin cars, air travel for six times a year, RM10,000 for books, RM72,000 pocket money, RM5 million medical insurance and monthly pocket money for two years totalling RM72,000.

Shahnaz was represented by Dr Rafie Mohd Shafie and Akbardin and Mahmud by Datuk Saadiah Din.

The trial before Syarie judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab continues Jan 29.

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