Originally published in The Edge
A controlling 38.68% stake in Genting Bhd and related assets were left to Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the current chairman and chief executive of the sprawling gaming empire, in 2003 by his late father Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong via the Kok Thay Family Trust, says Kien Huat Realty Sdn Bhd general manager Gerard Lim Ewe Keng.
Ewe Keng adds that the current feud involving Kok Thay and his brother Datuk Lim Chee Wah, who are at loggerheads with their nephews Joey Lim Keong Yew and Benjamin Lim Keong Hoe, and niece Marie Lim Seok Leng — the children of the late Datuk Lim Tee Keong (Kok Thay and Chee Wah’s elder brother) — is unlikely to impact the current shareholding at Genting and related companies.
Tee Keong died a bankrupt in April 2014.
“The way their father (Goh Tong) set it (the trusts) up is very clear. One tiger, one mountain … never two … three separate trusts, he separated all of them. He made sure the one that was going to run all the public companies was the one he had chosen, and he chose Tan Sri (Lim Kok Thay) in 2003. I think there was a big media (bash) when he handed over the reins,” says Ewe Keng, who is not related to Genting’s Lim family.
The comments by Ewe Keng come on the back of reports by The Edge a few weeks ago that a new suit was filed by Keong Hoe in June this year, seeking to rescind or set aside a power of attorney purportedly given to his uncles Kok Thay and Chee Wah by his grandmother, the late Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua @ Lee Ah Sang. Lee was the wife of gaming mogul Goh Tong who died in 2007. She died in August this year.
The power of attorney purportedly gives Kok Thay and Chee Wah wide powers. Kok Thay, Chee Wah and Lee are the first, second and third defendants in the case.
Ewe Keng says, “We have kept quiet all this while but it has gone too far.”
According to him, Parkview Management Sdn Bhd and other companies, such as Ameline (M) Sdn Bhd, are all trustees of the Kok Thay Family Trust, which leaves the equity in Genting to Kok Thay and his family.
In Genting’s 2016 annual report, Kok Thay is listed as having 68.12 million shares or 1.83% of Genting as at March 2, 2017. Neither he nor Lee were listed as a substantial shareholder.
Kien Huat Realty has a 39.44% stake in Genting while Parkview Management is stated as a trustee of a discretionary trust holding 39.68% equity interest in it.
Checks with the Companies Commission of Malaysia indicate that Parkview Management is the largest shareholder of Kien Huat Realty with a 94.21% stake. Kien Huat International Ltd has the remaining 5.79%.
Parkview Management’s shareholders are Ewe Keng (33.34%), Lee and Kok Thay (16.67% each), Amaline (16.67%) and company secretary Roselind Niap Kam Lian (16.67%).
Ewe Keng’s name appears as a shareholder and director all over the place. “If the shares were really mine, I’d be in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce,” he says.
However, this also means that Lee’s one-sixth share or 16% of Parkview Management means nothing.
Ewe Keng explains, “A trust is not a legal entity. It’s governed by a deed. The person that does all the work is a trustee. So the trustee does not own anything. He only owns on behalf of the trust ... So if you own 100% as trustee, it doesn’t mean you own 100% of anything … it’s actually nothing.”
He adds irritably, “It’s being sensationalised, telling the whole world that grandmother owns one-sixth (of the 40% of Genting), which is not the case … We’ve kept quiet all this while but I think it’s time. Tan Sri (Lim Kok Thay) is a low-profile man, obviously he is not happy with the publicity.”
Another aide of Kok Thay adds that the picture being painted now is not accurate. “It makes it seem like the uncles are not even leaving bones for the nephews (and niece) to chew on but that is not the case.”
It is also noteworthy that there are existing cases in court involving the same parties, albeit with Keong Yew and sister Seok Leng taking the uncles to court over issues with th