KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): A witness in FGV Holdings Bhd's suit against its former chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad and former group CEO Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said he had raised caution over the process of selecting the vendor for the renovation of two units of The Troika luxury condominium.
Mohd Roslim Rahman, 60, who had served as FGV’s senior manager for procurement, said he was however told to be "careful" about issuing advice.
Testifying in the High Court on Monday (May 28), Roslim said Amy Karya House of Style was chosen to undertake the “interior redecoration works” by his superior Datuk Abdul Razak Yunus.
The selection was based on three factors, namely that discussions have been carried out with the company and that it fulfils the requirements to carry out negotiations, and also that the company is registered with FGV as per company procurement policies and procedures.
However, as per company procedures, quotations from at least three registered suppliers were required, said Roslim, who retired as vice president for procurement in 2019.
In this case, only two invoices were obtained for the redecoration works, both from Amy Karya, he said.
One was for the purchase of furniture for the living room, bedroom and kitchen totalling RM189,260, and the other was for the purchase of electrical appliances and kitchenware totalling RM92,470.
When asked by Mohd Isa's lawyer, Lavinia Kumaraendran, if he had raised the matter on the need for two other vendors as per company policy, Roslim said: "Yes, verbally."
Lavinia: Were you asked to procure other quotations?
Later during re-examination by FGV's counsel, Hoi Jack S'ng, Roslim said he had raised the issue with Abdul Razak but was told by to be careful "when giving advice" concerning issues involving the "higher office".
Hoi: [You] were asked if you raised objections, you said [you did so] verbally [and indicated] that two other quotations should be obtained.
Roslim: I did remind him (Abdul Razak) of the procedures. He did mention to me that I have to be very careful [with] issues involving [the] higher office. [You can't] simply give advice... he reminded me to be very careful when giving advice.
When asked by Hoi who he meant by the higher ups or the higher officer, Roslim answered that it was in reference to the chairman's office.
Roslim was the senior manager at the procurement department from 2008 to 2014 before becoming general manager of procurement, where he was responsible for tracking payments, tender of documents and overseeing proposals.
Prior to joining FGV, he was the company secretary of Malaysian International Shipping Corporation Bhd.
The recommendation for Amy Karya's appointment was made in August 2015 by the facilities management unit at the procurement department. It had stated that there was an urgent need for interior redecoration works for Mohd Isa's use of one of the units in Block A, and that the quotation was obtained through the then chairman's office.
Monday's proceedings were peppered with several heated exchanges between Judicial Commissioner (JC) Datuk Mohd Arief Emran Arifin, who presided over the matter, and Mohd Emir's counsel Manjeet Singh Dillon.
Most noteworthy was when Manjeet had raised the issue of recusing the JC due to his previous work experience as a partner in a law firm. Manjeet contended that the firm was the principal firm that had done work with FGV.
Mohd Arief responded by saying that he had been instructed by the Chief Judge of Malaya (Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed) to hear the case and that the counsel should make a formal application on the matter. The JC also affirmed during the proceedings that he knew no one on the witness list.
Mohd Arief took over the case as JC Quay Chew Soon has been transferred to Penang.
FGV filed the suit against Mohd Isa and Mohd Emir in November 2018. The group is claiming RM5.134 million from the duo for the purchase of the condominiums, and another RM3.283 million from Mohd Emir for alleged misuse of five company cars and petrol benefits.
In its statement of claim, FGV alleged that Mohd Isa and Mohd Emir had taken steps to cause the acquisition of the two units of luxury condominiums which was earlier meant to provide accommodation for FGV's business associates or guests during their business trips to Kuala Lumpur.
However, upon the purchase, the units were renovated, furnished, and maintained for the use of Mohd Isa and Mohd Emir and their family members.
Hearing continues on Tuesday.