Thursday 28 Sep 2023
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(May 7): Police will study the contents of the report lodged by Tabung Haji chief executive officer Datuk Johan Abdullah over the leak of confidential documents on the proposal to buy land belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) before deciding on the next course of action, Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said.

Tajuddin added that the report was lodged this evening and said the city Commercial Crime Department was looking at it.

“We have yet to decide under which section we shall investigate the matter.”

It is understood that police have a few options in the investigation. The case can be investigated under the OSA (Official Secrets Act) or Multimedia Act.

It can also be investigated by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) if there is a need, said a source familiar with such cases.

Johan lodged the report over inaccurate data published in the blog "The Benchmark", which alleged that Tabung Haji purchased two plots of land at 1MDB's Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project for a total of RM772 million in cash, when in fact the pilgrim fund only bought a plot of land at a “discounted” price of RM188.5 million.

In the police report, Johan said the purchased 67,954 sq ft of land is to build service apartments and denied that Tabung Haji was in a process of procuring a Signature Tower as alleged in the anonymous blog.

He said the investment was done in accordance with the relevant guidelines and had received proper approval.

The development of the service apartments will be undertaken by Tabung Haji Properties Sdn Bhd and are expected to yield profit for Tabung Haji in the future.

The anonymous blog had alleged that Tabung Haji purchased two plots of land using depositors' funds and bought the land at a far higher value than what 1MDB paid, which was denied by Tabung Haji.

According to the blog, 1MDB Real Estate Bhd obtained the land for the construction of TRX at RM64 per sq ft from the federal government.

Johan also stated in the report that the leak of the confidential documents does not prove that the proposal was approved, and was against the Tabung Haji Act 1995 and its policy.

1MDB has attracted controversy as it sits on a sizeable debt of around RM42 billion, and the government has admitted that the state-owned investment arm is facing cash-flow problems. – The Malaysian Insider

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