3 EX-FIC BOARD MEM­BERS GIVE STATE­MENTS ON LON­DON BUY

This is to help in MACC’s probe into the pur­chase of the lux­ury ho­tel

New Straits Times - - News - HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN AND NOOR ATIQAH SU­LAIMAN PU­TRA­JAYA news@nst.com.my

THREE for­mer Felda In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (FIC) board mem­bers were present at the Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) head­quar­ters here yes­ter­day to have their state­ments recorded to as­sist in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the pur­chase of a lux­ury ho­tel in Lon­don by FIC.

The three were Datuk Nik Az­man Mo­hamed Zain, who is also FIC di­rec­tor, Datuk Noor Eh­sanud­din Mohd Harun and Datuk Dr Omar Salim. All three ar­rived sep­a­rately at the com­mis­sion here at 9am.

Nik Az­man was seen leav­ing the head­quar­ters at 12.55pm af­ter giv­ing his state­ment for four hours.

“I was asked to come to MACC to­day and that is why I am here to give my state­ment. They (MACC) only recorded nor­mal con­ver­sa­tions to as­sist in the in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” he said.

Omar and Noor Eh­sanud­din, on the other hand, walked out of the build­ing at 1.30pm and 3pm.

Noor Eh­sanud­din said the in­ter­ro­ga­tion was a nor­mal pro­ce­dure in the on­go­ing probe.

MACC is in­ves­ti­gat­ing FIC’s pur­chase of a prop­erty in Kens­ing­ton, Lon­don, be­tween 2013 and 2015 for £60mil (RM330mil), as well as its 2014 pur­chase of a Kuch­ing ho­tel, which has 213 guest rooms and apart­ment suites. The pur­chases have raised sus­pi­cions of cor­rup­tion and abuse of power.

It is be­lieved that FIC had paid be­tween RM40 mil­lion and RM50 mil­lion more than the mar­ket value of the Kuch­ing ho­tel. FIC is the in­vest­ment arm of Felda.

Nine peo­ple have been re­manded for in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the pur­chase of the ho­tels.

Among them are for­mer FIC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Zaid Abdul Jalil and for­mer spe­cial of­fi­cer to the pre­vi­ous Felda chair­man, Muham­mad Zahid Md. Arip, re­leased on bail yes­ter­day.

The mag­is­trate’s court here yes­ter­day also ex­tended the re­mand order against a 44-yearold lawyer as­sist­ing MACC in its probe into the pur­chase of the Lon­don ho­tel.

The four-day ex­ten­sion order is­sued by mag­is­trate Nik Is­fa­hanie Tas­nim Wan Ab Rahman will ex­pire on Satur­day.

The lawyer’s 29-year-old le­gal as­sis­tant, how­ever, was re­leased on a RM100,000 MACC bail. The duo were de­tained at the com­mis­sion here on Aug 3 af­ter they were called in for ques­tion­ing.

It was re­ported that they were work­ing at a Kuala Lumpur­based law firm and had been in­volved in manag­ing the doc­u­men­ta­tion of the sale and pur­chase agree­ment be­tween the orig­i­nal owner and a third com­pany, be­fore it was sold to FIC.

The lawyer also had links with the owner of the com­pany which made the sale and pur­chase trans­ac­tion with FIC.

PIX BY MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

(From left) Datuk Nik Az­man Mo­hamed Zain, Datuk Noor Eh­sanud­din Mohd Harun and Datuk Dr Omar Salim at the MACC head­quar­ters in Pu­tra­jaya yes­ter­day.

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