KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here was told today that former Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad ordered Felda to disburse urgently RM100 million to Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd (FICSB) for the latter to pay Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd (GAP) for the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak.
Former Felda director-general Datuk Hanapi Suhada, 62, who went on compulsory retirement in 2017, said he received the verbal directive from Mohd Isa in May 2015.
FICSB, a subsidiary of Felda, bought MPHS for RM160 million in 2015.
The fifth prosecution witness was testifying during examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz on the third day of Mohd Isa’s trial for criminal breach of trust and nine counts of corruption, involving more than RM3 million.
Afzainizam: Did you give any advice to Tan Sri Isa on the instruction?
Hanapi: No, as he was the chairman, I obeyed him.
During yesterday’s proceeding, Hanapi told the court that urgent payment of RM100 million had to be made by FICSB to GAP because the deadline for the payment was near, and if it failed to make the payment, it would be difficult for FICSB to own MPHS.
Hanapi said when Mohd Isa issued the directive, Felda’s Board of Directors (BOD) had not made any decision on the purchase of MPHS.
Afzainizam: Do you know the document (on the RM100 million payment) that you signed was not approved by Felda BOD?
Hanapi: I didn’t know.
Afzainizam: Had it known to you that it was not approved, will you sign it?
Hanapi: I’ll not sign it.
Afzainizam: You made payment of RM100 million on Tan Sri Isa’s directive?
On Dec 14, 2018, Mohd Isa pleaded not guilty to one count of breach of trust, and nine counts of receiving bribes amounting to more than RM3 million.
The offences were allegedly committed at Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC between April 29, 2014, and Dec 11, 2015.
The hearing before Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues on Monday.