• Local media reported on Tuesday that a managing director of a real estate company was remanded by the anti-graft body for four days to assist in an investigation concerning the subdivision of Malay reserve land in Manjung, Perak.

KUALA LUMPUR (May 29): Lagenda Properties Bhd (KL:LAGENDA) said one of its senior personnel was remanded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) under an investigation into the subdivision of Malay reserve land in Manjung, Perak.

However, it is business as usual for the property developer, the head of investments and investor relations Jasrinderjit Singh Dhillon said at an analyst briefing. He did not identify the personnel, but said that the Board of Directors and executive director Andy Chua Seng Hooi would be taking over the leadership for now.

Lagenda’s six-member board consists of non-executive directors except for managing director Datuk Doh Jee Ming, according to the group’s annual report, which also names Chua as one of the group’s two key senior management members, apart from head of project development Cheah Lye Aik.

Doh, 44, controls a 57.33% stake in the property developer, the bulk of which is held under his investment vehicle Lagenda Land Sdn Bhd.

Disclosures on Bursa Malaysia showed that Lagenda Land had in February this year offloaded an 11.35% stake or 95 million shares in Lagenda at RM1.40 apiece or RM133 million via an off-market transfer. The transaction saw the vehicle's stake fall to 51.59%.

Local media reported on Tuesday that a managing director of a real estate company was remanded by the anti-graft body for four days to assist in an investigation concerning the subdivision of Malay reserve land in Manjung, Perak.

Jasrinderjit noted as far as Lagenda is aware, that sole senior personnel is the only individual to be remanded and the investigation does not concern the group nor any of its units.

“Taking [a] cue from the Bursa announcement made, as far as we are aware, we are not a part of this investigation, so I cannot answer any question with regards to anything pertaining to the investigation but the board of directors will provide all assistance and cooperation to the appropriate authorities, if required,” Jasrinderjit said.

In a stock exchange filing following Lagenda’s briefing on Wednesday, the group reiterated that this MACC investigation is “isolated from Lagenda’s business operations”.

“The board wishes to inform the shareholders and other stakeholders that the operations of the group remain unaffected by the above event,” the company said when it replied to Bursa Malaysia’s query on unusual market activity.

“The group’s various operating units have been and are under the care of the various unit heads with proven track record. The board shall provide all assistance and cooperation to the appropriate authorities, if required,” it added.

Bernama reported on Tuesday that a magistrate court in Perak issued a remand order against a male suspect in his 40s after allowing the MACC’s application.

Citing a source, Bernama said the MACC’s initial investigation found that the suspect was believed to have paid a bribe to a civil servant working in the land office in a state in the northern region to change the status of Malay reserve land, resulting in land measuring 649.2 hectares to be illegally transferred to non-Malay companies and individuals.

MACC senior director (Investigations) Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim reportedly confirmed the suspect’s arrest and said the case was investigated under Section 16(b)(B) of the MACC Act 2009 — pertaining to the offence of bribing a public officer.

Lagenda shares hit limit down on Wednesday, having plummeted 49 sen or 29.52% to RM1.17, valuing the group at RM979.67 million. The fall in share price placed the counter among Bursa Malaysia’s top losers by both value and percentage.

Trading activity was relatively high at 29.36 million shares, 28.5 times the counter's three-month average volume of 1.03 million shares.

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