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Bung Moktar and wife’s corruption trial: Felcra board of directors aware of risks involved in unit trust investment, witness tells court

Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, April 6, 2022. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Former Felcra Bhd group chief financial officer told the Sessions Court today that Felcra’s board of directors was aware that the decision to invest RM150 million in Public Mutual Berhad’s unit trust was risky.

Mohd Azmy Abu Samah, 54, however, said he requested the board of directors to consider the investment proposal when presenting it in a board meeting.

“However, the decision on the investment was not presented or discussed in the top management council (MPT) meeting,” he said during cross-examination by lawyer Datuk K Kumaraendran, representing Datin Seri Zizie Izette Abdul Samad, at the corruption trial involving Kinabatangan Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and his wife (Zizie Izette) before Judge Rozina Ayob.

The 26th prosecution witness said during the presentation session he informed the board that Felcra had RM300 million of cash to invest and asked the board to consider it.

Asked by Kumaraendran whether former Felcra chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Ramlee Abu Bakar raised any issues during the presentation, the witness said the CEO only wanted to know the reason the unit trust investment was not brought to the MPT.

However, Mohd Azmy said there was no objection or discussion from the board of directors regarding the investment.

Kumaraendran: Did the board continue with the investment (RM150 million)?

Mohd Azmy: Yes.

The witness also agreed with Kumaraendran’s suggestion that the RM150 million investment was made by Felcra on May 18, 2015.

He also agreed with Kumaraendran’s suggestion that the board had never approved any amount to be invested by Felcra.

In the previous proceedings, Mohd Azmy told the court that the Ministry of Finance agreed to approve the RM150 million investment by Felcra in Public Mutual Bhd unit trust after three investment proposal papers were submitted by Bung Moktar.

The proceedings continue on April 12.

On May 3, 2019, Bung Moktar, 64, pleaded not guilty to two charges of receiving bribes amounting to RM2.2 million and RM262,500 as an inducement to obtain the approval of Felcra to make an RM150 million investment in Public Mutual unit trust.

Bung Moktar who was the non-executive chairman of Felcra then allegedly received the bribes from Madhi Abdul Hamid through Zizie Izette at the Public Bank branch in Taman Melawati here between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

He also pleaded not guilty to receiving cash bribes of RM335,500 from unit trust consultant Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar under Zizie Izette’s name for the same reason at the same place on June 19, 2015, while Zizie Izette, 44, pleaded not guilty to three charges of abetting with her husband on the matter at the same place, date and time. — Bernama

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