By AZREEN HANI
THE Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) says it has launched a probe on Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) Sdn Bhd for the purchase of a four-star hotel in Kensington, London, allegedly to be overpaid, causing millions of ringgit in losses to settlers.
In a statement today, the anti graft body said it received new information regarding the purchase, which was made between year 2013 and 2015 by Felda’s investment arm.
“Based on the initial investigation, FIC is believed to have purchased the hotel above market price, causing millions of ringgit in losses,” MACC chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad said.
Following this, Dzulkfili had instructed MACC’s investigating team to open up an investigation paper over the matter.
“A detailed probe will be conducted to determine whether there is any element of corruption or abuse of power with regards to the purchase.”
“MACC will call several key witnesses to record their statements in order to get more information and evidence, before proceeding to next course of action.”
The controversial purchase was met with criticisms from various quarters as early as 2013.
In 2015, the opposition had demanded the MACC to clarify the status of investigations on claims that Felda’s management had paid RM538 million for the purchase of the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments and RM330 million for the purchase of the Grand Plaza Kensington Hotel in London.
Minister Datuk Paul Low had told Dewan Rakyat that preliminary investigations found no element of wrongdoing in the deal by FIC.
Former chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad had launched the hotel in December 2014.
Incorporated on July 2, 2013, FIC was created to seek investment opportunities and generate returns to its parent stakeholder through assets acquisition. Besides properties in the UK, FIC has bought strategic and substantial interests in Iris Corp Bhd, Encorp Bhd and Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd.