PETALING JAYA (Jan 2): The High Court today awarded RM825,000 to a housewife who made a counter claim against a developer for a tort of conspiracy and malicious prosecution.
Chow Cho Tai, 62, won the case when it was proven that the signatures used in two sale and purchase agreements and trust deeds to enable the transfer of a land from Rimau Indah to Jiwa Rakyat Sdn Bhd were fake.
Her name and personal particulars were used to appoint her as a director of Rimau Indah, a property development company, but a handwriting expert later concluded the signatures in the documents were not genuine, reported Free Malaysia Today.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Faizah Jamaludin Chong ordered the defendants – WT Development Sdn Bhd, Loh Kok Choy, Te @ Tee Kang Swee, Jiwa Rakyat Sdn Bhd, Chan Yong Sin, Lim Ah Lim and legal firm Messrs Abdul Aziz Rahim & Co – to pay Chow another RM50,000 in costs.
In 2017, WT Development, a previous shareholder in Rimau Indah – with both companies featuring the same business address – filed a lawsuit against Rimau Indah’s liquidators, Chow and the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
WT Development’s main allegation was that the said liquidators and Chow had conspired to regain ownership of the land located in Shah Alam, Selangor.
A company search with SSM showed that Chow was appointed as company director of Rimau Indah since 2008.
Sometime in 2015, Chow received a letter from the liquidators, stating her as a director of Rimau Indah and asked her for the company’s statement of affairs, failing which she would be liable for criminal prosecution.
The liquidators showed Chow a statutory declaration with “her signature” as consent to be director of the company.
Despite the handwriting expert’s attestation though, the SSM refused to remove Chow’s name in their records, citing it was not within their powers.
The High Court then granted Chow a declaration that she was not a director and ordered SSM to amend their records.
That did not stop the liquidators from suing her, another director Chin Nyuk Tin and Jiwa Rakyat over the land transfer valued at about RM8 million.
Subsequently, the liquidators withdrew their suit against Chow after the findings of the handwriting expert were made known, and following the court order to SSM.
Chow, represented by lawyers Sunil Lopez and Karen Chin, then filed a counterclaim against WT Development and six other defendants.
Faizah in 2017 had struck out WT Development’s suit and proceeded to conduct a trial on Chow’s counterclaim, which led to the RM825,000 award to Chow.
WT Development had thereafter filed a suit to stop the liquidators from obtaining the land.