The Rise, Fall and Re-emerge of Rashid Hussain Again?

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Dec 08 2007
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He was almost invincible in the corporate world. His stock-broking firm was the first to be listed in the Malaysian Stock Exchange after incorporated Rashid Hussain Securities in 1983 together with Chua Ma Yu. Two decades later in 2003 Tan Sri Rashid Hussain left the RHB Group after selling his final 17.3 per cent equity stake in Rashid Hussain Berhad to Utama Banking Group (KLSE : UBG, stock-code 6831) for RM732 million following a bitter tussle for control.

Feng shui master might tell you that based on his destiny and luck chart (or pillar), his 20-years of good luck were already over. Rashid Hussain could hope on his next cycle of luck for a corporate comeback but it depends on his age of which the next luck-cycle starts (if there’s any). Not even as the son-in-law of Robert Kuok could help in any way against the changes in political waves. Once one of the blue-boys of Daim Zainuddin (for Finance Minister) and closely connected to former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Rashid has only his ownself to be blamed for mingling with the wrong group of politicians.

Rashid Hussain RHBPerhaps his biggest mistake could be in extending the loans to the former Transport Minister’s son as part of the politician’s ambitious plan to convert his son to become overnight billionaire via acquisition of Rekapacific Berhad (now defunct). Once out of control, RHB Capital (RHBCAP: stock-code 1066), RHB Equities Sdn Bhd and RHB Investment Bank Bhd (formerly RHB Securities Berhad) sued Tan Sri Rashid Hussain and five other individuals for a total sum of RM1.43 billion for alleged breach of fiduciary duties and alleged negligence in 2005.

The five were Chong Kin Leong in his capacity as former director of RHB Capital and RHB Equities; Seah Fook Chin in his capacity as former director of RHB Capital and RHB Equities; Tajul Ariffin Mohd Tahir in his capacity as former executive director of RHB Securities and in his capacity as former director of RHB Equities; Ong Tiang Lock in his capacity as former director of RHB Equities; Rosley Ahmad in his capacity as former principal legal adviser and former company secretary of RHB Capital, RHB Securities and RHB Equities.

Dead Rise AgainToday, in a surprise move, the RHB Group under the current EPF (Employees Provident Fund) dropped its RM1.4 billion lawsuit against founder Tan Sri Rashid Hussain and five former top executives, putting an end to the 33-month legal battle. It’s amazing how the changes in ownership could change the landscape, at least in terms of securing losses caused by negligence. RM1.4 billion is a lot of money mind you. Maybe the shareholders couldn’t care less about the money so why should we (outsiders) care?

Nevertheless in Malaysia you can never discount any possibilities. Who would have thought that the current PM Abdullah Badawi would walk in the corridors of power when he was with the losers trying unsuccessfully to unseat former premier Mahathir? Who could possibility guarantee that former deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim would not make a comeback with the blessing of Badawi? Assuming somehow Anwar’s star could shine again you can bet your last penny the Malaysian corporate world will once again change accordingly and Tan Sri Rashid Hussain might be snooping behind your shoulder.

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