Another heir of 1800s Penang tycoon had claimed mosque land, court told

Two-term former Dewan Negara member Abdul Shukor PA Mohd Sultan, 70, together with the descendants of 1800s Penang real estate magnate Shaikh Eusoff Shaikh Latiff.

GEORGE TOWN: A lawyer for the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) told the Shariah High Court here today that a heir of the late 1800s real estate tycoon Shaik Eusoff Shaik Latiff had previously tried to reclaim a piece of wakaf land, where a mosque and burial ground are situated, from the council.

MAINPP lawyer Mohd Anuar Ahmad said the claim over the 5-acre (2ha) mosque land at Dhoby Ghaut along Jalan Air Itam was made in the 1970s by one of the heirs, the late Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Abdul Mansor.

The land in question, where the present Shaikh Eusoff Jamek Mosque and burial ground are situated, is next to the Dato Kramat Market.

Anuar said the claim was made through the insertion of a caveat into the land title, despite it being surrendered for Muslim endowment or wakaf use.

Anuar said this during a cross examination of former senator Abdul Shukor PA Mohd Sultan, 70, who is claiming a different piece of land, as one of three trustees in the suit brought against MAINPP.

Shukor was asked to agree or disagree if the claim to the mosque land had been previously made. Shukor agreed a claim had been made. However, Shukor is not claiming this particular piece of land.

In their statement of claim, Shukor and two others are claiming another parcel of land – a 15-acre plot being held by MAINPP as wakaf land.

Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) lawyers Mohd Anuar Ahmad (second from right) and lead counsel Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar (second from left) outside the Shariah High Court.

The 5-acre land and the 15-acre land were willed by the late Shaik Eusoff to be used as wakaf land for a period of 21 years from the death of his last offspring. However, both pieces of land continue to be held by MAINPP.

Earlier, to Anuar’s question as to how he had become a senator and which party he belonged to, Shukor said he had been a Perlis state assembly nominee to the Dewan Negara and was formerly an Umno member.

Shukor is one of three great-grandchildren of Shaik Eusoff ,as the remaining living trustees, who are suing MAINPP for the return of 15 acres of land on Jalan Thean Teik, Air Itam, to their family estate.

The land is estimated to be worth more than RM300 million, based on current market value.

Shukor had told the court yesterday that the last of Shaik Eusoff’s seven children – a daughter – had died in 1932, so the land was supposed to be returned to the family estate in 1953.

Shukor and the great-grandchildren said the will of Shaik Eusoff, dated Dec 30, 1892, which clearly stated this, was legally binding.

In the suit against MAINPP, the great-grandchildren are asking the Shariah High Court to return the land to them and for an injunction to stop MAINPP from developing the land.

Shariah High Court Judge Mohd Yunus Mohamad Zin adjourned the case to June 21.

The plaintiffs were represented by Akberdin Abdul Kader and Yuslinov Ahmad, while MAINPP was also represented by Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, Mohd Najib Rohim and Mohammad Shafiq Ibrahim.