News Malaysiakini

Quit over 1MDB land denial, PAS tells Azeez

Published:  |  Modified:

PAS vice-president Husam Musa wants Tabung Haji chairperson Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim to resign after denying on Twitter late last night that the pilgrimage fund bought Tun Razak Exchange land.

This is because Tabung Haji executive chairperson Johan Abdullah confirmed the purchase which was leaked on blogs but clarified the land was purchased at a discount.

Husam said the purchase is also evidence of a bail-out of sorts.

"Was the chairperson trying to lie? As a chairperson, he should know the details of the transaction as it would have been presented to the board, which he chairs.

"If he already knew, then his denial was in bad faith. Such leaders do not deserve to head a large body like Tabung Haji, which manages huge sums of public funds.

"I propose he resigns as Tabung Haji chairperson," Husam (photo) said in a statement.

Asked on Twitter yesterday, Abdul Azeez said the allegation that the pilgrimage fund had purchased 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) land at an inflated price is untrue .

"Wrong. Tabung Haji will issue a statement as soon as possible," he tweeted.

Today, Abdul Azeez clarified that he denied that Tabung Haji bought two plots as speculated in the blogs and that it only acquired one plot of land.

Johan in a statement today confirmed the purchase at RM188.5 million, "a discounted rate based on market value", but denied purchasing Signature Tower (Phase 2).

A blog posting dated May 5 claimed the fund purchased two plots of land at the TRX  – one for RM194 million (RM2,860 per square feet) and the other for RM578 million (RM3,900 per square feet).

Based on this and Johan's statement, it can be deduced that Tabung Haji confirmed the purchase of only Plot 1, for about RM2,779 per square feet.

The blog claims that 1MDB had supposedly bought the land from the government earlier for only RM90 per square feet, but 2012 reports showed that the land was bought for RM74.20 per square foot.

Forcing the son-in-law to buy

Husam said Johan's claim that the purchase is based on market price is questionable as it is multiple times what 1MDB paid.

This view is shared by fellow PAS veep Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (photo) who said this is becoming a family business where a patriach is twisting the arm of his son-in-law.

"This is the simple business model of 1MDB - the father sells to the son at a cheap price, and then forces his son-in-law to buy from his son at a higher price. Where does all the profit go?" Tuan Ibrahim asked.

He raised concern that next in 1MDB's sights are agencies like Lembaga Zakat, Employee Provident Fund or Felda.

He said these agencies may be next to be forced to pick up the assets 1MDB got for a song, at inflated prices.

The Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) also demanded the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the matter.

"We view this seriously. It can affect savings of Muslims who intend to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam (the haj)," said Abim president Amidi Manan in a statement.

Earlier, Perlis Mufti Nohd Asri Zainul Abidin said an explanation is in order because it concerns his own future as well as the country's future.

Related stories

Tabung Haji: We bought 1MDB land at a discount

Concerned mufti raises Jho Low and Rosmah

Blog: TH paid inflated price for 1MDB land

Share this story

OR

Welcome back,

Your subscription expires on
  

Your subscription will expire soon, kindly renew before
  

Your subscription is expired
  Click here to renew

You are not subscribed to any subscription package
  Click here to subscribe now

Any questions?
  Email: [email protected]
  Call: +603-777-00000

Renew