Tabung Haji’s ex-chair Azeez, senior management named in alleged funds misuse probe

Abdul Azeez resigned in late May as Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Abdul Azeez resigned in late May as Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) today lodged a police report against its former chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim over the alleged misuse of a charitable fund’s money for politically-linked activities.

The police report is over the alleged misuse of RM22 million of funds belonging to a charitable fund, which Abdul Azeez was a trustee of when the alleged incident happened.

Abdul Azeez, the Baling MP who is also an Umno supreme council member, resigned in late May this year as Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman.

The police report is one of two lodged today with the Commercial Crimes Investigation Department by TH against its current and former senior management over two separate matters — a charitable fund and a matter involving the disposal of shares in a company with a huge landbank in Indonesia.

The first police report by is related to welfare foundation Yayasan Tabung Haji’s (YTH) 2017 programme “where funds totalling over RM22.0 million had been disbursed for activities with political inclinations”, with TH noting that such use goes against the foundation’s constitution.

“This contravenes the Memorandum and Articles of Association of YTH,” TH said in a statement today.

TH noted that the trustees of the welfare foundation at the time of the alleged incident were Abdul Azeez, TH former CEOs Tan Sri Ismee Ismail and Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah, TH chief operating officer Datuk Adi Azuan, and chief financial officer Datuk Rozaida Omar.

TH pointed out that YTH was formed in 2016 to undertake humanitarian aid and “contribute to the underprivileged, the poor and the needy”, with TH saying it had contributed RM7 million to the programme.

In the second police report, TH named ex-CEO Ismee, legal adviser Hazlina Mohd Khalid and senior general manager of corporate services and real estate, Rifina Md Ariff in relation to a 2012 land matter.

TH said the police report was related to alleged “misrepresentations and withholding of material information” on TH’s disposal of its shares in an Indonesian plantation firm in 2012.

It explained that it was linked to TH’s US$910 million sale in 2012 of its 95 per cent shareholdings in PT TH Indo Plantations to PT Borneo Pacific (PT Borneo).

TH had held the 95 per cent stake in the company via TH’s two subsidiaries, namely TH Indopalms Sdn Bhd (THI) and TH Indo Industries Sdn Bhd (THII).

PT TH Indo Plantations owns 83,000 hectares of palm oil estates in Indonesia, TH said.

“The reports lodged today, are the first following internal investigations into past transactions, spearheaded by the new management since July 2018,” TH said.

On July 3, TH announced that its group managing director and CEO Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah, who took on the role on July 1, 2016, had ended his two-year contract at the fund.

Prior to Johan, Ismee was TH CEO from 2006 to 2016.

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