Rafizi quizzed by cops over Tabung Haji remarks

Rafizi Ramli was informed that he was merely being investigated as a witness in the matter and not as a suspect. — file picture
Rafizi Ramli was informed that he was merely being investigated as a witness in the matter and not as a suspect. — file picture

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Police today questioned PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli over his recent comments on the Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) controversy.

The Pandan MP, who met the police at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters this afternoon, later told reporters that he was informed that he was merely being investigated as a witness in the matter and not as a suspect.

But Rafizi said he doubted this was true and that he chose not to answer the police’s questions, noting also that the probe for defamation and the spread of false information under the Penal Code was regarding his statement about the state of the pilgrimage fund’s reserves.

He said as he was not the first to say the fund’s reserves were in the negative, the authorities should consider hauling up Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as well.

“The questions were based on my statement that Tabung Haji’s reserves were negative… this statement was not started by me. My words were based on a Bank Negara’s letter to Tabung Haji,” he said.

“If the police wanted to investigate me based on this, they should call and investigate the Bank Negara governor as well, I was just repeating what was announced.”

The lawmaker’s lawyer, Faizal Rahman, said that the probe on Rafizi’s remarks is under Section 203 and 500 of the Penal Code for spreading false information and defamation.

Last month, Rafizi insisted that LTH’s reserves were in the negative and claimed that this was because the board did not declare the full value of its 2015 reserves.

In another statement, Rafizi also alleged that the fund had provided a corporate guarantee of RM963 million to its subsidiary TH Heavy Engineering last year.

The fund’s finances first came into public attention after a letter from BNM warning the fund that its assets were insufficient to meet its liabilities, was leaked to the public.

LTH CEO Tan Sri Ismee Ismail has denied that the fund’s reserves were in the negative, indicating that BNM had calculated wrongly because the central bank did not take into account the fund’s investment portfolios such as its subsidiaries, plantation assets and properties.

The fund has since lodged a police report against Rafizi.

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