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I did not overstep authority in hotel purchase - FICSB ex-CEO

Last update: 17/10/2019
Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 -- A former chief executive officer of Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) told the High Court here today that he did not overstep his authority in the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak.

Mohd Zaid Abdul Jalil, 48, was being cross-examined by Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad’s lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin on the seventh day of the former Felda chairman’s trial.

Mohd Isa is accused of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and corruption involving more than RM3 million related to the purchase of MPHS.

The 15th prosecution witness said the purchase of the hotel in 2014 was approved by FICSB’s board of directors.

He disagreed with the lawyer that he had stated in a letter to Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd (GAPSB) that the board had agreed in principle to purchase MPHS, whereas the minutes of the board’s sixth meeting on Sept 2, 2013 only asked him to appoint a professional consultant to valuate the hotel.

Salehuddin: Agree or not that you intentionally misled the owner of MPHS , that is, GAPSB?

Mohd Zaid: I don’t agree

Salehuddin: Agree or not that in this letter it is clear you had an interest in obtaining approval for purchase of the hotel?

Mohd Zaid: I don’t agree

The witness also disagreed with the lawyer that there was no policy or standard operating procedure in getting approval from Felda’s board of directors for any decision made by FICSB’s board.

"There was a discussion (on the SOP) in a meeting by the Felda board but was not minuted. There were times when certain things discussed during the meeting would not be minuted,” he said.

Mohd Isa, 70, is facing one charge of CBT and nine counts of corruptly receiving more than RM3 million from the hotel transaction. He allegedly committed the offences at Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC between April 29, 2014 and Dec 11, 2015.

The trial before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues tomorrow.


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