KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is preparing charges of power abuse against Felda ex-chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad in relation to the inflated purchase price of a hotel in Kuching, Sarawak.
The Straits Times cited sources as saying the commission has concluded its probe into Felda’s 2014 acquisition of the Merdeka Palace Hotel and will recommend charges to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) next week.
“There was insufficient evidence (to charge him) due to limited access before but investigators picked up where they left off when new proof emerged.
“The MACC will be submitting the completed investigation papers and its recommendations to the Attorney General’s Chambers next week. It will then wait for the AGC’s order for the next course of action,” an unnamed source told the Singapore daily.
It also reported that the commission is considering charges under Section 23 of the MACC Act that covers the abuse of one’s office for personal gratification, with Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas briefed on the case around three days ago.
In 2014, Felda Investment Corporation bought the 213-room Merdeka Palace Hotel for RM160 million when it was valued at only RM110 million.
A government audit in 2016 found that under Isa, Felda had also invested in other dubious projects that resulted in losses of more than RM100 million to the agency.
The former Negri Sembilan mentri besar took over the organisation in 2011 and stepped down in January last year after the agency suffered financial losses.
At end of June this year, its debt stood at RM8 billion.