Cousin of Mustafa boss says dad cried 'like a baby' after making will

A cousin of Mustafa Centre boss Mustaq Ahmad told the High Court yesterday that his father came home crying "like a baby" one day in 2004, after making a will stating that he held a 15.12 per cent stake in the company.

Mr Fayyaz Ahmad said his father, Mr Samsuddin Mokhtar Ahmad, felt hurt and cheated by Mr Mustaq, whom he treated as a son.

Mr Mustaq's lawyer, Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo, accused Mr Fayyaz of making up the story because the contents of his father's will would hurt his case.

Mr Fayyaz and his brother Ansar are claiming a one-third share of the Mustafa business empire as well as assets owned by Mr Mustaq.

The case is being heard together with a suit brought against Mr Mustaq and his family by his five step-siblings and their mother.

Mr Yeo said Mr Samsuddin could have revoked the will, but did not do so because he believed he was entitled only to a 15.12 per cent stake.

Mr Samsuddin was a cousin of Mr Mustaq's mother Momina.

In 1973, he registered a partnership with Mr Mustaq's father, Haji Mohamed Mustafa. Mr Mustaq was added as a partner later.

In 1989, Mr Samsuddin and Mr Mustaq incorporated Mohamed Mustafa & Samsuddin Co. Mr Mustafa and Mr Mustaq's wife were later added as shareholders and directors. Between 1989 and 2001, Mr Mustaq's stake went from 51 per cent to 61.25 per cent while Mr Samsuddin's went from 30 per cent to 15.12 per cent.

Mr Fayyaz and his brother have accused Mr Mustaq of diluting their father's interests through "wrongful" share allotments. They allege that the defendants misappropriated funds and paid themselves excessive directors' fees.

Mr Mustaq contends that he was the sole owner of the business who provided for Mr Mustafa, Mr Samsuddin and their families.

Yesterday, Mr Fayyaz said that after he asked Mr Mustaq about his father's will, Mr Mustaq assured him that his father would get a one-third share. Mr Fayyaz said he relayed this to Mr Samsuddin, who took Mr Mustaq at his word.

Mr Yeo said that after Mr Samsuddin's death in 2011, Mr Fayyaz signed affidavits confirming that the 15.12 per cent stake in the firm was his only asset in Singapore.

Mr Fayyaz said Mr Mustaq went back on his word that "everyone will get an equal share" after the documents were signed.

Mr Yeo said: "I suggest that it is you who had gone back on your word... You had gotten greedy and would like to claim more than what the Samsuddin estate is entitled to." Mr Fayyaz disagreed.

The trial continues.