Sarawak tycoon: No Syariah Court approval or wife's assent to wed Aussie and Russian

Sarawak tycoon Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib.

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

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

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

Shahnaz and Mahmud divorced on March 11, 2011.

Mahmud was being cross-examined by Akbardin Abdul Kader, counsel for Shahnaz, who is asking for a RM100 million (S$37 million) mutaah (Islamic conciliatory payment) as a divorce settlement.

He admitted that he did not obtain Shahnaz's consent and the Syariah Court's approval for both marriages.

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

Asked whether his father Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was then Sarawak Chief Minister, agreed to his 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 have brought Hiley to meet his parents if he was not married to her.

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

The older sister of singer Datuk Sheila Majid said Mahmud had a son with Hiley but was not sure whether he had married her (Hiley).

Shahnaz also filed an application to get RM300 million in matrimonial property as 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 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 for expenses incurred for their son, who was born in 1993.

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

Shahnaz was also represented by Dr Rafie Mohd Shafie while Datuk Saadiah Din appeared for Mahmud.

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