Still Ongoing: Investigations into Tabung Haji’s Alleged Mismanagement from 2018 Police, MACC Reports

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The authorities are still investigating the alleged mismanagement of Muslim pilgrim savings fund Tabung Haji as was made aware to the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in November 2018, the Prime Minister’s Department has said.

It was responding to former Tabung Haji chairman and Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, who had asked the prime minister to state the outcome of investigations into allegations of the embezzlement of funds owned by Tabung Haji by its top management between 2009 and 2017, and the steps that the government has taken as a result of the investigations.

In a brief written parliamentary reply, the Prime Minister’s Department said investigations remain ongoing, and the appropriate action will be taken after the probe is completed.

“For your information, the police report and the MACC report on cases involving the misconduct of the previous management have been made since November 30, 2018.

“For now, those cases are still under investigation by the relevant authorities.

“The Prime Minister’s Department leaves it fully to the authorities to investigate those cases according to the law. Appropriate action will be taken after that investigation process is completed,” it said in the written reply.

On November 30, 2018, Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) lodged a police report over welfare foundation Yayasan Tabung Haji’s (YTH) 2017 programme where over RM22 million in funds were allegedly disbursed for politically-linked activities which went against YTH’s constitution.

On the same day, TH had lodged a separate police report over the 2012 sale of TH’s 95 percent shares in Indonesian plantation firm PT TH Indo Plantations — which owned 83,000 hectares of palm oil estates in Indonesia — to PT Borneo Pacific for US$910 million, in relation to alleged “misrepresentations and withholding of material information” in the share disposal.

In the first police report, TH noted that the trustees of the welfare foundation YTH at the time of the alleged incident were Abdul Azeez, TH former CEOs Tan Sri Ismee Ismail and Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah, TH chief operating officer Datuk Adi Azuan, and chief financial officer Datuk Rozaida Omar.

In the second police report, TH named ex-CEO Ismee, legal adviser Hazlina Mohd Khalid and senior general manager of corporate services and real estate, Rifina Md Ariff.

TH had said the two police reports lodged on November 30, 2018, were the first following internal investigations into past transactions that were spearheaded by the new management since July 2018.

Abdul Azeez, who was TH chairman from July 2013 to May 2018, had on December 3, 2018, claimed that the police report against him over the alleged misuse of YTH’s funds was made with bad intentions, claiming that the RM22 million fund was collected from various sources including contributions from corporations, federal government allocations, Umno and private individuals and including RM7 million in investment funds from TH.

Firdaus Latif

Abdul Azeez had claimed YTH activities were carried out to help the public regardless of political ideology. – MMO