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Isa Samad considered hotel purchase agreed to by FICSB as no objection from BOD

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Picture credit: The Star

KUALA LUMPUR:  The High Court here was told today that former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad considered the proposed purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak, costing RM160 million, was agreed by Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) Board of Directors (BOD) as none of them objected to it.

Former FICSB company secretary Ruzeti Emar Mohd Rosli, 45, when reading out her witness statement, said that at the 10th FICSB’s  BOD meeting on April 29, 2014,  Mohd Isa asked the board members whether they agreed to it or not.

“None of the BOD members said they did not agree, so, it was regarded as a unanimous consent by FICSB BOD.

“A decision was made to buy the hotel for a price not exceeding RM160 million subject to final negotiations on the price and it (decision) was recorded in the minutes of the meeting and confirmed at the following meeting on May 26, 2014, ” she said on the sixth-day trial of Mohd Isa who is facing charges for criminal breach of trust (CBT) and corruption, involving RM3 million, in connection with the hotel purchase.

The 14th prosecution witness said, the proposal on the hotel purchase was rejected at the eighth FICSB BOD meeting, but it was reinstated at the 10th meeting.

“Former (FICSB) chief executive officer (CEO) Mohd Zaid Abdul Jalil tabled the proposal paper on the hotel purchase at the 10th meeting with more detailed information,” she added.

To a question by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz  whether she heard Mohd Isa making any comments after the paper was presented,  Ruzeti Emar said as far as she could remember, there was no comment by him.

Afzainizam:  Did you hear any of the BOD members, particularly the CEO, informing the board that the proposal had to be presented to the Felda BOD for approval?

Ruzeti Emar:  Cannot remember.

Cross-examined by lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin, representing Mohd Isa, the witness said she agreed with the counsel that she and Wong Siew Yeen, 49, a former FICSB company secretary, attended the 10th FICSB BOD meeting held on April 29, 2014.

Salehuddin: Do you agree the words “Kita bersetuju ye? Setuju ye”(purportedly by Mohd Isa at the 10th FICSB BOD meeting) were put in by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Ruzeti Emar: No

Salehuddin: : Are you forced by MACC to agree to the words to be highlighted or  did Tan Sri Isa Samad try to influence the meeting?

Ruzeti Emar : No

Salehuddin: Do you agree that paragraph 23 (in the witness statement on “Kita bersetuju ye”) was not right?

Ruzeti Emar: Disagree

On Dec 14, 2018, Mohd Isa pleaded not guilty to one count of breach of trust, and nine counts of receiving bribes amounting to more than RM3 million.

The offences were allegedly committed at  Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC between April 29, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015.

The hearing before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues.

— BERNAMA

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