‘Hidden hands’ out to destroy Serba Dinamik, says CEO

K. Kabilan

Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd’s CEO Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah says its legal troubles with market regulators were caused by “hidden hands” that were keen to see the downfall of the oil and gas company. – Serba Dinamik Group website pic, May 16, 2022.

SERBA Dinamik Holdings Bhd’s legal troubles with market regulators were caused by “hidden hands” that were keen to see the downfall of the oil and gas company, its founder and CEO Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah said.

Karim claimed that the plot was to destroy Serba Dinamik as well as to remove him from the corporate scene. He however refused to reveal the identity of those behind the move as investigations are still under way.

“We believe there are hidden hands who triggered this entire controversy. We are entrepreneurs who believe in technology as a tool to guide, support and excel with our global holistic engineering solutions.”

“We believe in participating in the nation building agenda and to support and implement the vendor development programme of the government.”

“Along the way, there were parties who envied our success and worked out an ill-intended move to create messy issues.”

“We do not have any ‘godfather’ or ‘strong political connections’ to shield us,” he told The Malaysian Insight in an interview.

He said that the impact of the unwarranted attacks had taken a huge toll on the company and himself, resulting in a free fall of the company’s shares and a winding up petition from its creditors. The company is now undergoing a Practice Note 17 (PN17) restructuring process.

“All allegations levelled against me and Serba Dinamik have the end goal to remove me from the corporate scene and portray an ultra-negative image of me.”

“All allegations are untrue and as mentioned before, due to sub judice, I have been keeping quiet. Now, it’s over,” said the 57-year-old Sarawakian who  established Serba Dinamik in 1993 in Bintulu to provide maintenance services and engineering solutions to the oil and gas and power generation industries.

“As for debunking the allegations, I have worked extensively with our legal team in doing just that where it really mattered, in our representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to have the charges compounded.

“I must point out that this was in fact successful, in that the AGC saw that the charges were very problematic, and that there was insufficient evidence to succeed with any prosecution,” he said.

Karim added that there was very little he could do to tell his side of the story when the matter was before the court.

“While it was frustrating to have various media articles published on the matter without the facts being properly portrayed, there was very little I could do about it in the media, and I very much doubt that some publishers would have printed what I had to say accurately.”

Karim spoke to The Malaysian Insight after he, the company and three other top executives were given a discharge and acquittal by the Sessions Court last Friday.

Serba Dinamik, Karim and the three other senior executives were charged last December with submitting a false statement to Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd in relation to the revenue figure of RM6.014 billion contained in the company’s consolidated results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2020.

However last month, the AGC accepted letters of representation on the matter from the four, following which the Securities Commission (SC) on April 13 compounded the company and its four top executives RM16 million in all.

The company and its directors had paid the full compound to the SC on May 9.

However, Attorney-General Idrus Harun’s explanation on May 13 on why criminal proceedings were dropped and the compound imposed instead has drawn criticism.

Matter could have been handled better

Karim said that the matter could have been handled better by the various parties involved instead of dragging the oil and gas company to court.

He said that the problem started with the audit issues raised by the company’s then auditor KPMG, and with the way the auditor handled the issues raised.

“Instead of first working with the management to address the alleged issues, many of which were without any basis, they reported it to the Securities Commission without attempting to get a response beforehand.”

“This was compounded by the SC’s subsequent hasty actions that included searching our premises and laying charges without investigations being completed. “

“Once the charges were laid by the SC, we had to take action to prevent the matter from getting out of hand.”

“We truly believe that the actions of KPMG, the SC and the subsequent auditor EY Consulting escalated matters unnecessarily, and our various legal actions were an attempt to settle everything so that it could be properly addressed,” he said.

Karim said that with legal troubles with the SC out of the way, his aim was now to get Serba Dinamik back on track again.

However, he hoped the authorities would investigate the parties who were behind the plot to destroy Serba Dinamik, adding that reports had been lodged with the relevant enforcement agencies.

“Reports have been lodged and I leave it in the capable hands of the authorities.

“I have full confidence in the capabilities of our authorities and hope the truth will prevail, insyaAllah,” he said.

It has been learnt that Karim and Serba Dinamik had lodged at least three reports with the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission, alleging foul play in the acts of the SC as well as its former auditor KPMG and other parties.

One of those involved, a member of the company’s audit and risk committee as well as former KPMG partner, is facing a criminal intimidation trial.

Serba Dinamik’s legal troubles started in 2021 when KPMG red-flagged issues on its financial accounts, prompting the SC to initiate charges under Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 for submission of false information in the company’s financial statement.

Serba Dinamik is currently in PN17 status as its newly appointed external auditor Nexia SSY PLT expressed a disclaimer of opinion on its audited financial statements for the 18-month financial period ended June 30, 2021.

It has however said it was formulating a plan to regularise its financial condition which would be submitted to Bursa Securities for approval in the next eight months.

Last month, six financial institutions filed petitions against Serba Dinamik and its three subsidiaries after the company failed to pay an instalment of RM99 million that was due on December 20, 2021.

The six financial institutions were involved in providing RM1.2 billion in syndicated term financing.

Serba Dinamik has initiated legal actions against KPMG, auditing firm EY Consulting and Bursa Malaysia, all arising from its audit issues.

Last Friday, Serba Dinamik closed trading at 12 sen. The stock only resumed trading earlier on Monday after being suspended in October last year due to the audit issue.

Karim said that Serba Dinamik shares were trading at RM1.80 in March 2021, dropping to RM1.70 in April 2021.

“The share prices started to drop after the SC announced that it was investigating Serba Dinamik. On October 27, it dropped to 35 sen.”

“We see this as an economic sabotage, especially the bumiputera economy. Our losses in terms of market capitalisation is about RM5.38 billion so far,” he said.

Serba Dinamik was listed in Malaysia in 2017, putting Karim on the list of the country’s richest in 2018 for the first time. – May 16, 2022.

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  • Karim, in the end you have to play the racist card again.......does it show that you certainly have something to hide? There was certainly some wrong doing, otherwise your top guns would not have been compounded by SC on the recommendation of the AG. You have accepted the compound fines, meaning you have acknowledged the wrong doings. Thats a hefty fine, and RM300 for speeding and it's not easy to accept that unless one has indeed done wrong. So stop playing the race card and admits your shortcomings and move on from that. The fact that you defaulted on your loans and the company is on PN17 shows how "well" you have managed the company and that the current share prices is, in mu opinion, due to these 2 factors.

    Posted 2 years ago by Brave Malaysian · Reply

  • The 'hands' which are destroying your company are your own incompetence and greed.

    Posted 2 years ago by Simple Sulaiman · Reply

  • "..SERBA Dinamik Holdings Bhds legal troubles with market regulators were caused by hidden hands that were keen to see the downfall of the oil and gas company....."

    I think you, Abdul Karim is doing it nicely yourself. Why were you preventing the release of the Independent Audit report if not to hide matter you do not want to make public.

    Posted 2 years ago by Super Duper · Reply

  • The hidden hands can only be found in the mirror? And not only the hands but the face too? Poor shareholders that believed this man and his bumiputra story. Is it true he is a Foochow?

    Posted 2 years ago by Loyal Malaysian · Reply

  • Joke of the year

    Posted 2 years ago by Teruna Kelana · Reply