The step-family of Mustafa Centre boss Mustaq Ahmad levelled serious allegations against him on Tuesday, accusing him of cheating his father, his stepmother and his step-siblings so that he, his wife and his children could "line their pockets".
The allegations came at the start of a 34-day hearing into a suit brought against Mr Mustaq and his family by his five step-siblings and their mother, with each side accusing the other of "insatiable" greed.
The step-family, led by Mr Ayaz Ahmed, is asking the High Court for an order to wind up Mohamed Mustafa and Samsuddin Co (MMSC), the company behind the popular department store.
A liquidator should be appointed to look into the affairs and records of the company and recover any property that has been improperly dissipated before the winding up, the step-family said.
They contended that Mr Mustaq's various wrongdoings have caused an "irretrievable breakdown" in the relationship among the shareholders.
In his defence, Mr Mustaq said that he was the sole owner of the company and was entitled to conduct its affairs as he saw fit.
His lawyer, Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo, said Mr Mustaq grew the business through 50 years of hard work and that it was disappointing that the plaintiffs have "turned around to bite the hand that feeds them" after benefiting from Mr Mustaq's kindness and generosity through the years.
He added the plaintiffs have sought to rewrite the history of the company, downplayed Mr Mustaq's contributions and "conjured up serious and grave allegations for which they have offered little credible or no evidence".
The Straits Times