Sarawak governor’s former daughter-in-law wins RM30m in divorce settlement

KUALA LUMPUR: The Shariah High Court today ordered Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib to pay his ex-wife Shahnaz Abdul Majid RM30 million following their divorce as muta'ah or conciliatory award.

Abu Bekir, the son of former Sarawak Chief Minister and current Sarawak governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, was ordered by Judge Mohammed Abdul Karim Wahab to pay the sum in three installments every three months beginning March 31, at RM10 million each.

“The court finds that the defendant is capable of paying this muta'ah,” Abdul Karim said in his judgement, though he opined the initial RM100 million claimed by Shahnaz in the suit to be “unreasonable”.

Abdul Karim said that Abu Bekir had not fulfilled his obligations as a husband and caused grievance to Shahnaz by living separately from her for 10 years despite still being married to her.

Abu Bekir's lawyers said later that they would appeal the decision.

Speaking on behalf of Abu Bekir, lawyer Datuk Zainal Rijal Abu Bakar said that his client was "very disappointed" with the decision.

"We will be appealing both the muta'ah and also the quantum. We will file our appeal tomorrow and even file a stay of execution," he said.

Abu Bekir and Shahnaz married in 1992 and were divorced in 2011. Together, they have a 13-year-old son.

Shahnaz meanwhile said that she was "grateful" that the court acknowledged the struggles she had gone through since being separated from Abu Bekir.

"I am grateful for the acknowledgement of the court but we will decide on what to do next," she said.

The trial for the muta'ah began in mid 2013 and lasted for more than two years, exposing the depth of Abu Bekir's wealth, estimated by Shahnaz's lawyers at close to RM1 billion.-Malay Mail

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