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I never agreed with the hotel purchase: FIC ex-CEO

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 18): Former Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd (FIC) chief executive officer Mohd Zaid Abdul Jalil told the High Court here today that it was only him who disagreed with the purchase of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) in Kuching, Sarawak worth RM160 million.

The 15th prosecution witness said this during cross-examination by Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad’s (pictured) lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin on the eighth day of the former Felda chairman’s trial.

Mohd Isa is accused of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and corruption involving more than RM3 million related to the purchase of MPHS.

Mohd Zaid, 48, said however, he did not voice his objection during the 10th FIC’s Board of Directors (BOD) meeting on April 29, 2014.

“The meeting took a majority vote on the agreement for the purchase of the hotel, but not all matters were recorded by the FICSB’s secretary in the minutes of the meeting,” said Mohd Zaid who is also former FIC BOD member.

Salehuddin: Is it important to have your consent on the purchase of the hotel

Mohd Zaid: It is important.

Salehuddin: So, you want to show that you are a responsible man

Mohd Zaid: Agree.

Asked if he was desperately blaming others only to cover up his mistake of not voicing his objection at the meeting, Mohd Zaid replied in the negative.

He also rejected Salehuddin's suggestion that his consent should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting as he was the only person who disagreed with the purchase of the hotel.

On Wednesday, Mohd Zaid in his reading statement said he had never agreed to the RM160 million hotel price offered by Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd and was not involved in any discussion with the company on the matter.

Mohd Isa, 70, is facing a CBT charge and nine counts of corruptly receiving more than RM3 million from the hotel transaction.

He allegedly committed the offences at Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC between April 29, 2014 and Dec 11, 2015.

The trial before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues on Monday.

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