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Tuesday 30 August 2005: 11.30 ET

By Alfred Donovan has obtained a leaked copy of an email dated 18 August 2005 from Shell Malaysia Chairman, Datuk Jon Chadwick to all Shell employees in Malaysia, which responds to points raised exclusively on this website. Our articles have focused on the strikingly different approach adopted by Shell in response to employee class action lawsuits brought by its USA staff, as opposed to its utterly ruthless treatment dished out to its Shell Malaysian employees. Basically Shell has been deliberately dragging out the Malaysian class action lawsuits even though many of the claimants are elderly, some suffer from memory loss, some are ill and others have already died, while Shell heartlessly drags out the litigation. An example of one of the relevant articles can be read via this link: Read

Shell lawyers choosing to deliberately drag out litigation is a Shell with which my son and I are familiar. Shell’s lawyers even had the breathtaking audacity in our case to openly threaten in writing to make the relevant High Court litigation “drawn out and difficult”. They shamelessly made plain their intention to drain the finances of a financially weaker opponent.

According to the leaked email sent by Datuk Jon Chadwick, Shell’s appeal against a stunning Malaysian Court judgement that Shell acted “unlawfully” in misappropriating funds from employee pension funds is scheduled for 17 to 19 October. The Plaintiffs action for enforcement of the relevant Judgement is scheduled for 16th November.

The latest panic move by Chadwick in trying to reassure Shell Malaysian staff on these matters proves that he pays extremely close attention to the articles published on He has already unsuccessfully attempted to use the Malaysian High Court to censor information published on this website, so now he is reduced to trying to defend the indefensible by spamming his employees who probably do not believe a word he says in any event after all that has occurred.

How can Chadwick defend the sympathetic attitude displayed towards Shell’s American employees, versus the contemptible hard-hearted treatment of Malaysian employees?

How can Chadwick defend Shell’s discredited senior management – fat cats like him – treating themselves to a fleet of luxury executives jets after Shell has paid nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in fines and settlements after deceiving shareholders in respect of hydrocarbon reserves and has misappropriated employee pension funds.

How can Chadwick defend Shell giving the disgraced former Group Chairman, Sir Philip Watts, an $18 million dollar pension pot while short-changing the pensions of loyal honest Malaysian employees who have never cheated anyone?

How can Chadwick defend Royal Dutch Shell stating in a legal document written on 18 May 2005 that I am entitled to publish my opinions about Shell on my website, while Shell at that very moment held (and continues to hold) a Malaysian High Court injunction against a courageous Malaysian, Dr John Huong (and has threatened him with imprisonment) for articles under his name which I have published on the very same website. Again it is one rule for the Anglo-Saxon and another for the Malaysian National. I am apparently entitled to freedom of speech under the HUMAN rights laws and conventions but it seems that Shell does not believe that this right extends to Malaysians.

What must be abundantly clear by now is that as far as Shell is concerned not all HUMAN beings are created equal. They are treated differently by this evil multinational dependent on nationality/race. There is no other possible explanation for these inexplicable anomalies involving cruel and INHUMAN treatment which make a mockery of HUMAN RIGHTS.

The following comments and questions have been added in the light of information received by email from Malaysia following publication of the above article:

Jon Chadwick stated in his internal email: “The ERISA Settlement in the USA relates to a wholly different set of facts and circumstances from Team A (399 case) Litigation. No meaningful comparison or inference can be made by referring to the decision to settle in the US case”

It is true that in some respects there is no comparison: The fact that Shell management shamelessly cooked up its Reserve Replacement Ratio in their 20F filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (and in doing so affected those covered by the US employee saving plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 1974) was exposed to the full glare of mega global publicity. Shell consequently decided as a priority to try to put the reserves debacle behind it ASAP. Hence the settlements (and accommodations with the regulatory authorities) which have quickly been agreed. Shell certainly did not want to be seen to be treating its US employees badly, especially while there was so much continuing focus on the scandal.

In comparison, the cases brought by Malaysian employees have been ignored by the worlds news media and have accordingly been put in the snails pace lane by Shell management and its lawyers, as a pitiless hard-nosed bullying tactic used against its former loyal and dedicated employees.

Jon Chadwick conveniently neglected to mention in his email that the class action lawsuits by US and Malaysian Shell employees both have the same origin – they arose solely due to the incompetence, negligence and dishonesty of Shell management.


I have some questions to put to you on behalf of some of your former employees in Malaysia:

Were the trustees appointed to manage the retirement funds made by competent or incompetent Shell Managers?

Is it true that the Malaysian retirement benefits were for a few consecutive years making zero returns in the same period when all the stocks were making money? Why were the employees not informed by the trustees that the returns were in the red?

Was Paul Gerla, the financial Controller for Shell Malaysia, aware of all the fishy goings on in regard to the relevant Malaysian retirement funds? Was he also among others, a trustee for the retirement fund???

Can you tell us why Paul Gerla resigned: this important issue is not mentioned in your email. Your current and former employees want to know the truth!

Can you also tell us the reasons why Gerewat Gala, the Legal Advisor for Shell Malaysia resigned?

Can you please share with us a long list of your noble accomplishments and/or contributions made for the well-being of Malaysians during your tenure as Chairman of Shell Malaysia, which has resulted in you being nominated and accorded the title “Datuk”; a title which is akin to the respectable title of “Sir”.

You recently sent out an email asking all Malaysians Shell employees to comply with the Shell Statement of General Business Principles (SGBP) on the basis that any breach could result in disciplinary action, including dismissal. These strictures presumably also apply to you. Please answer the above questions accurately and truthfully in the same way you expect your employees to behave – in a professional and transparent way.

You also stated in your recent email: “I would also like to repeat the Company’s earlier assurances that it is committed to honouring all legal obligations resulting from the final outcome of the appeals process, and to continuing to keep you informed of relevant developments”. I would again remind you of the news reports: “Ageing and sickly, ex-Shell staff wait on court”: – “Some have died. Others are losing their memory and many are ailing.” This is indeed true, try asking them in front of their graves or their traumatised family members – ex staff such as Jimmy Layang, Nyilipi Bunyau, Apok Ruka, etc. They could have benefited from their monies to pay for medical treatment which you denied them but alas they are now dead. You certainly seem to have a lot on your conscience!

What about your Shell programme known as “We Care, We Share”. How do you under these circumstances expect to be taken seriously as a Chairman of an International Company?

No doubt you will sit in front of your near Japanese like garden in Piasau Camp, No. 100 in Miri from time to time to see if the beautiful tropical sea view of the setting sun in front of your patio, stocked with wines from Tuscany, hi-fi stereos music of Bach and Beethoven, allows you to forget your betrayal of the love and support that your employees have given Shell over the years, which has made their lives and/or their family lives really sad and miserable.

Datuk Jon Chadwick, I will happily publish unedited any response you may wish to supply: please send any reply to me via the following email address: [email protected]

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