The MACC is now looking at Grand Borneo Hotel which Felda acquired in 2012 and reportedly relooking at the purchase of an apartment block in Bayswater, London.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is trying to establish if Felda Investment Corporation Sdn Bhd’s (FIC) acquisition of the Grand Borneo Hotel was done in the same manner as the other two hotels under investigations – the Park City Grand Plaza in Kensington, London, and Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites in Kuching, Sarawak.
Investigations into the London and Kuching properties centred on the issue of inflated prices as well as possible abuse of power and corruption.
Grand Borneo Hotel, a three-star hotel and part of the 1Borneo Hypermall in Kota Kinabalu, was purchased for RM86.4 million.
When announcing the acquisition, former Felda chairman Tan Sir Mohd Isa Abdul Samad said the hotel would be managed by a Felda Group subsidiary, Felda Travel Sdn Bhd, which owns seven hotels and resorts in Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Melaka, Perak and Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Isa was made a director of Felda Travel Sdn Bhd on Feb 8, 2011.
However, the hotel’s Facebook page states that it is managed by FIC Hospitality Management Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of FIC.
The FIC website also lists the takeover of the management of the hotel in July last year as one of its milestones.
Investigators learned of the Grand Borneo Hotel deal in the same way it uncovered the Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites deal, by stumbling upon it while examining the London hotel acquisition.
“When investigators cracked open the London hotel purchase, information surfaced about Merdeka Palace and that is why we began investigations into that deal.
“It is the same with the Grand Borneo Hotel deal,” the New Straits Times quoted a source as saying.
It is believed that MACC had been approached to re-examine the acquisition of a 198-unit apartment block in Bayswater London in 2013 at RM538 million, allegedly much higher than its market value at the time.
Apparently, why Isa’s assets have not yet been frozen given the fact that he is under investigation was because investigators had to first establish the sources of his assets and wealth.
“He has a long history, which includes early political careers.
“This process should not solely focus on the years he was with Felda,” said the NST source.
According to the report, while Isa is being probed, his wife, Puan Sri Bibi Sharliza Mohd Khalid, is unlikely to be arrested by the MACC as she is not considered to be linked directly to his alleged indiscretions.
Jul 17, MACC Raiding FIC Office