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Abdul Azeez denies RM22m Tabung Haji Foundation fund used for politics

03 Dec 2018 / 17:06 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Tabung Haji (HJ) Board chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim today denied that he had misused RM22 million from the Tabung Haji Foundation (YTH) for use in political activities.

The MP for Baling said the money was obtained from various sources, including contributions from corporations, special allocations from the government and individuals for YTH’s welfare and social programmes.

“The programmes include for the poor and destitute, disabled persons and single mothers nationwide through the ‘Ziarah Kasih’, ‘Jom Bantu Rakyat’, and ‘Ziarah Kasih Ramadan’ programmes, for a year.

“The RM22 million fund is not TH depositors’ money. It is tithe from profit of TH investments, totalling RM7 million, and the balance contributed by Umno, the federal government and companies that have never had business with TH to carry out activities during the Ramadan in 2017,“ he told a media conference at the Parliament lobby.

On a report lodged against him for allegedly misusing the fund, Abdul Azeez said he would wait for the call from the police and was prepared to give his cooperation in the investigation.

Last Friday, TH lodged reports with the Commercial Crime Investigation Department here against Abdul Azeez, its former chief executive officers Tan Sri Ismee Ismail and Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah and four senior management staff.

The senior staff are Datuk Adi Azuan (Chief Operating Officer) and Datuk Rozaida Omar (Chief Financial Officer), Hazlina Mohd Khalid (Legal Adviser) and Rifina Md Ariff (Senior General Manager, Corporate Services and Real Estate).

The first report involves Yayasan Tabung Haji’s (YTH) 2017 Programme, where funds totalling over RM22.0 million were alleged to have been disbursed for activities with political inclinations. This contravenes the Memorandum And Articles of Association of YTH.

The trustees of YTH during that time were Abdul Azeez, Ismee, Johan, Adi and Rozaida.

YTH was set up in 2016 to undertake, among others, humanitarian aid and to contribute for the underprivileged, the poor and the needy. TH had contributed RM7 million to the programme.

The second report against Ismee, Hazlina and Rifina relates to misrepresentations and withholding of material information involving TH’s 2012 sale of 95% shareholdings in PT TH Indo Plantations held by its two subsidiaries, namely TH Indopalms Sdn Bhd (THI) and TH Indo Industries Sdn Bhd (THII), to PT Borneo Pacific (PT Borneo) for US$910 million (RM3.8 billion).

Abdul Azeez said there was no misrepresentations and withholding of material information involving TH’s 2012 sale of 95% shareholdings in PT TH Indo Plantations to PT Borneo.

“I was appointed TH chairman in July 2013. Until today, there has been no allegation of misappropriation or theft in connection with the sale, including claim that it was sold at a market price below the market value.

“Instead, a media report then clearly reported that a higher sale price from the market price, which was about U$16,000 (RM67,200) per hectare,“ he added. — Bernama

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