Cancel 1MDB land deal, Perkasa tells Tabung Haji

KUALA LUMPUR (May 8): Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali today joined the chorus condemning Lembaga Tabung Haji's purchase of a plot of land in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project last month.

He said if it was not too late, TH should cancel its decision to buy the TRX land belonging to state-owned strategic development company, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

"If the deal is still in the initial stage and they (TH) had only paid a deposit and there's a way to withdraw, then do it.”

He added that Tabung Haji was a pilgrims fund and not inherited wealth.

He said the land deal issue was very sensitive to Muslims who kept their money in the institution for the purpose of performing the haj (pilgrimage).

"This is money saved through blood and sweat for religious purposes. (It is) not inheritance money. If there is a way to withdraw from the land deal, do it," said Ibrahim.

He said that although it was mentioned that the purchase was done in a proper manner for development purposes, TH have many other options to choose from instead of buying a land belonging to debt-ridden 1MDB.

"TH is considered a government-linked company. It can ask the government for any federal lands that it wants to develop," said Ibrahim.

Asked if TH chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim should resign over the matter, he declined to elaborate but said other countries would have done so if their ministries or departments were involved in controversy.

Azeez yesterday confirmed the pilgrims fund's investment was only in one plot of land worth RM188.5 million and not two as claimed by a blog earlier.

"Yes. Sorry for the miscommunication. It's not true about the 722 million acquiring the 2 lots… That's what I denied," he had tweeted from his handle @azeezputera.

In another tweet, he said TH had only made one investment and “at a lower price”.

"Not two units as written in the blog. That was what I was denying," he said.

Tabung Haji chief executive officer Datuk Johan Abdullah also clarified the matter in a press release issued to the media on the same day and lodged a police to investigate the leakage.

Police today have classified the case under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972.

In the report, Johan said the data published in the blog called The Benchmark, alleging that TH had purchased two plots of land at 1MDB's Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project for a total of RM772 million in cash as inaccurate.

He said the purchased 67,954 sq ft of land was to build service apartments and denied that TH 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 profits for the company in the future.

Johan said the leak of the confidential documents did not prove that the proposal was approved, and was against the Tabung Haji Act 1995 and its policy.

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