Bung Moktar opened to suggestion for cash investment in trust fund

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE Sessions Court here was told today that former Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (picture) was open to suggestion for the organisation’s cash investment of RM150 million in unit trust.

A member of Felcra’s board of directors, Dr. Habibah Suleiman, 72, said like other members of the board, Bung Moktar did not object to the proposal which was aimed at maximizing returns.

“True, Datuk Seri (Bung Moktar) agreed with the proposal tabled by Kumpulan Kewangan Felcra general Manager Mohd Azmy Abu Samah at a board meeting held on Nov 24, 2014.

“During the meeting, the board members also played an active part in the discussions. Various issues were also discussed which led to the meeting taking longer to end, from 8.30 pm to 3 am,” she added.

Dr. Habibah, who is the fifth prosecution witness said this during cross-examination by Bung Moktar’s lawyer, M. Athimulan, in corruption trial involving the Kinabatangan Member of Parliament and his wife, actress Datin Seri Zizie Ezette A. Samad.

Besides Habibah and Bung Moktar, the Nov 24th meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel, Jalan Ampang, was also attended by a representative from the Ministry of Finance, Datuk Mohd Isa Hussain and other Felcra board members then, namely Datuk Seri Ibrahim Muhammad, Datuk Baharum Mohamed, Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah, Datuk Ismail Kasim, Azaman @ Azman Ruslan and Datuk Azailiza Mohd Ahad.

Habibah also confirmed a letter signed by former Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, which approved the proposed investment, worth RM150 million.

“From what I can remember, I was told that RM150 million had been transferred to the Public Bank trust unit during a meeting on June 16, 2015,” she added.

Bung Moktar, who was at that time the non-executive chairman of Felcra, was charged with taking a bribe of RM2.2 million from Public Mutual investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid, 38, through his wife Zizie Ezette.

He was accused of committing the offence as an inducement to obtain approval from the then Finance Minister II for Felcra to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual unit trust products.

The offence was allegedly committed at Taman Melawati branch of Public Bank Berhad at No. 262-265, Jalan Bandar 12, Taman Melawati here between 12.30 pm and 5 pm on June 12, 2015.

Bung Moktar was also charged with corruptly receiving RM262,500 in bribes for himself from the same individual through Public Islamic Treasures Growth Fund (PITGF) account number 044797816 which registered under Zizie Ezette’s name for the same purpose.

On another charge, Bung Moktar was accused of corruptly obtaining RM337,500 bribe from Public Mutual investment agent, Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, 42, via Public Ittikal Sequel Fund (PITSEQ) account number 044797824 which was registered under Zizie Ezette’s name for the same purpose.

Both the offences were allegedly committed at the same location at 12.16 pm and 12.28 pm, respectively, on June 19, 2015.

All the charges were framed under Subsection 17(a) of the MACC Act and can be sentenced under Section 24 (1) of the same law which provides for a jail term not exceeding 20 years and fine not less than five times of the bribe amount or RM10,000 whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Zizie Ezette also pleaded not guilty to three charges of abetting her husband on the same matter at the same place, dates and time.

The charges were made under Section 28(1) (c ) of the MACC Act and she faced an imprisonment for not more than 20 years, and fine of not less than five times of the bribe or RM10,000 whichever is higher if found guilty.

The hearing before judge Rozina Ayob continues tomorrow.