Travel agency’s RM102,560 suit against Azmin Ali’s children over unpaid bills to go through mediation

Travel agency’s RM102,560 suit against Azmin Ali’s children over unpaid bills to go through mediation
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 26): YHA Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd’s RM102,560 suit against three of Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s children over unpaid travel bills will go through mediation.

YHA’s lawyer Adam Yap confirmed this with

Yap emphasised that the mediation only applies to the suit relating to the three children and that the company's suit against Mohamed Azmin will still proceed as before.

The outcome was revealed during case management held today at the Sessions Court before Sessions judge Lailatul Zuraida Harron @ Harun.

Mohamed Azmin’s children who were named in the suit and purportedly still owe the company are Farah Affifah (RM3,880), Farah Amira (RM6,400), and Mohamed Ameer Shazrin (RM92,280).

Meanwhile, Yap said a date has yet to be fixed for the hearing of the suit against the senior minister.

The suit against Mohamed Azmin’s children had to be re-filed last September after one of his daughters, Farah Syazlina, had paid her dues of RM8,510.

It was also reported on July 22 last year that the court had allowed the substituted service of court documents to Mohamed Azmin’s children as lawyers were unable to serve a copy of the suit to them.

According to YHA's statement of claim, which was found by through a file search, Mohamed Azmin had been a customer of the travel agency for 20 years.

The company claimed the senior minister would normally settle his bills within three to four months but in this instance, the payments had been outstanding for far longer.

It was referring to family trips made between Sept 10, 2018 and Aug 5, 2019, including to Marrakech, London, Jakarta, the Gold Coast, Dubai, Geneva, Singapore, Bangkok, Barcelona, and Santorini.

The company also provided the itineraries of Mohamed Azmin's trips to Hanoi and Kota Kinabalu between Sept 14 and Sept 16, 2018, and to Sandakan on May 10 to May 11, 2019, which was during the Sandakan by-election.

YHA is seeking a payment of RM167,332 from the minister and a total of RM102,560 from his children.

The company claimed it sent a letter of demand to Mohamed Azmin on Aug 27, 2019 and another on Sept 30, 2019, but had received no response.

"Notwithstanding the repeated demands, the defendant had failed and neglected and refused to pay the amount stipulated," YHA said.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Azmin was reported to have filed a counterclaim against the travel agency through Messrs Daim & Gamany.

The senior minister claimed that the travel agency's majority shareholder Yasmin Hanim Arbee and her husband, chairperson Datuk Mohd Ayub Hassan, are the parents of one Mohd Haziq Hassan Mohd Ayub.

According to the counterclaim, Haziq Hassan had been arrested in connection with a police probe into a purported sex video that allegedly features Mohamed Azmin and one other individual.

The counterclaim said both Yasmin and Mohd Ayub had enjoyed a "very close relationship" with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"The filing of this suit by the travel agency is not for the vindication of the plaintiff's rights but for some ulterior purposes designed to harm the defendant (Mohamed Azmin)," it said.

"The conspiracy in relation to the 'fitnah video' was orchestrated by the leader of a political party," it added.

The countersuit also alleged that YHA's statement of claim had been leaked to Sarawak Report, which could not have been privy to the filing, thus supporting the claim of an ulterior motive.

Mohamed Azmin admitted liability to the sum owed by himself and his children under the age of 20, which according to him amounted to only RM162,272.

However, he said his children that are older than 20 would have to pay the sum owed by themselves.

The minister is seeking damages, costs and other relief deemed necessary by the court.

Lam Jian Wyn