x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Bahrain-born bank founder shot by suspected hitmen in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian police are hunting three suspected contract killers after Hussain Ahmad Najadi, the 75-year-old founder of AMMB Holdings Bhd., was shot dead in Kuala Lumpur after a business meeting at a temple.

KUALA LUMPUR // Malaysian police are hunting three suspected contract killers after Hussain Ahmad Najadi, the 75-year-old founder of AMMB Holdings Bhd., was shot dead in Kuala Lumpur after a business meeting at a temple.

The Bahrain-born businessman was gunned down on Monday near a car park outside the Kuan Yin Temple while walking with Cheong Mei Kuen, his 49-year-old Malaysian wife, Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh told reporters in the capital yesterday. The couple had gone to meet someone about a property deal, he said.

Mr Najadi pioneered business links between the South-east Asian nation and the Middle East, founding Arab-Malaysian Development Bank Bhd. in 1975 with 55 per cent Malaysian and 45 per cent Arab interests, according to the bank's website. He was no longer involved with the lender, which changed its name to AMMB in 1983 and is the country's fifth-biggest by market value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Police have "identified the shooter and another two people who were with him through CCTV camera pictures from the temple and surrounding area", and have about seven witnesses, Mr Salleh said. The car park where they were shot reopened to the public yesterday, though police patrol cars remained in the area.

Mr Najadi died at the scene, while his wife suffered a hand injury and is being treated in a hospital, said Mr Salleh. After firing four shots, the three suspects escaped in a taxi with a fake license plate, he said.

The shooting follows several other incidents involving high profile business figures.

R Sri Sanjeevan, the 29-year-old chairman of Malaysia's crime watchdog group MyWatch, is recovering in a hospital following surgery to remove a bullet after being shot on July 27, local daily the New Straits Times reported yesterday, without citing a motive. Sosilawati Lawiya, a cosmetics millionaire, was murdered three years ago.

Prime minister Najib Razak, whose coalition returned to power with a reduced majority in May, has made fighting crime a policy priority under a government transformation programme started in 2010.