Sarawak chief minister's son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib spent slightly more than three-quarters of a million ringgit in the first six months of this year using a charge card, the Syariah High Court was told today.

Like an episode from the TV series ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’, the itemised billings from Bekir's American Express platinum charge card revealed spending at high-end stores such as Harrods, Suffrages and the Ferrari store in London, besides trips to Dusseldorf in Germany, Barcelona in Spain and to France.

The statements from January to June this year on the American Express platinum charge card issued by Maybank showed RM782,520.55 in expenditure, were tendered to the court for identification.

The evidence was produced by Bekir's former wife Shahnaz A Majid, 49, who testified on the banking documents.

NONEIt was also revealed that Bekir (left in photo) has RM5 million in a CIMB account and another RM3 million in a fixed deposit with the bank.

Today’s proceedings also saw Bekir make an appearance, after his absence at the last two hearings.

Shahnaz, who is the sister of jazz queen Sheila Majid, is seeking a total of RM400 million from the joint matrimonial assets and mutaah (gift).

The documents were retrieved after an ex-parte order issued by the Syariah High Court earlier this year for all of Bekir's accounts and assets, whether locally or overseas, to be tendered to the court.

This follows Bekir not disclosing the details as he was required to in settling the longstanding matrimonial dispute.

Objection to financial documents submitted

However, the documents submitted by Shahnaz were not marked as exhibits or evidence following disputes and objections to the authenticity of the documents raised by Mahmud's lawyers Saadiah Din and Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar.

Shahnaz, who was represented by Akbardin Abdul Kader and Dr Rafie Mohd Shafie, testified that the credit limit on a platinum American Express card is higher than that for a gold card.

Some of the expenses highlighted were two reservations made through Reliance Shipping and Travel Agencies Sdn Bhd costing in excess of RM243,000. 

Others included the purchase of a watch worth RM123,800 from Starhill in Kuala Lumpur, three trips to Harrods, London, costing more than RM132,000, RM20,300 on a tailor shop and RM37,047.97 at Wellington Hospital, London. 

NONEOthers include hotel stays in Dusseldorf, Barcelona and at the Courchevel Hotel in France.

Shahnaz and and Bekir have an 18-year-old son and their divorce last year, after 19 years of marriage, came after the Sarawak chief minister's son pronounced `talak satu' (the declaration of divorce). 

She also gave a description of how pricey the items were at Harrods and who could afford them.

“If a bedsheet is priced RM500 in Malaysia it could be priced £2,000 at Harrods. It is for the wealthy to go and it is a big store,” she said.

At the last hearing on Oct 2, Shahnaz testified that about RM700 million was held in Bekir's name in foreign accounts in the United States, the Caribbean countries, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Bekir, she testified then, was personally worth more than RM1 billion and she described her former father in-law, Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, as the richest person in Malaysia.

~ Malaysiakini