MACC gets green light to charge Isa Samad over inflated hotel purchase

Mohd Isa was at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya at 10.48am today to sign an appearance notice to present himself in court. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Mohd Isa was at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya at 10.48am today to sign an appearance notice to present himself in court. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Federal prosecutors have approved charges against former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad over the overpriced purchase of a hotel in Sarawak, said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The agency also confirmed that the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar will be charged at the Sessions Court at 9am tomorrow.

“MACC has obtained permission from the Attorney-General’s Chambers to charge Mohd Isa who is also the former FIC board chairman tomorrow,” MACC said in a statement.

MACC said Mohd Isa was at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya at 10.48am today to sign an appearance notice to present himself in court.

Last month, it was reported that MACC would recommend corruption charges against Isa over the property deal under Section 23 of the MACC Act that covers the abuse of one’s office for personal gratification.

In 2014, Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) bought the 213-room Merdeka Palace Hotel for RM160 million when it had been valued at 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.

He became Felda chairman 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.

On November 30, FGV Holdings Berhad also sued Mohd Isa and former chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah over the purchase of two luxury condominium units allegedly for above market price.

In the lawsuit filed in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, FGV blamed the duo for losses suffered as a result of their alleged failure to discharge their “fiduciary duty, duty of fidelity and/or duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence”.

Mohd Isa had recently quit Umno to independently contest the Port Dickson by-election that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won.