Bank chairman, MD charged with CBT over RM15m book project

Abdul-Aziz-Zainal_Mustafha_bank-rakyat1

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Rakyat Managing Director Mustafha Abdul Razak was today charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) amounting to RM15 million and the bank’s chairman, Abdul Aziz Zainal, was charged with abetting him.

Aziz, who is a retired army general, pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here, claiming trial to a charge under Section 109 of the Penal Code for abetment, read together with Section 409 of the same law.

He was present in court together with Mustafha, who also pleaded not guilty to a charge under Section 409. Both men were accompanied by their lawyers and family members, when they arrived in court at about 9.45am.

The duo were represented by senior lawyers Shafee Abdullah and Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin.

Anyone convicted under Section 409, which relates to an act of CBT by a public servant or agent, faces a jail term of a minimum two years or maximum 20 years and with whipping, and shall also be liable to a fine.

Mustafha was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Aug 25, while Aziz was detained on Aug 29.

Both men were held on a seven-day remand for investigations into alleged graft and misuse of power, involving the RM15 million book project and a project to upgrade the bank’s IT system.

A bank account belonging to Aziz, and said to have close to RM1 million in it, was also frozen as part of the investigation.

Aziz was released on bail of RM100,000 on Monday after his remand had expired.

Three other persons were also detained in the same week as Mustafha, one of whom was the former procurement director at the bank and two people who own a publishing company.

The book project was said to be a coffee table commemorative book on a past national leader.

Bank Rakyat comes under the purview of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

Aziz replaced Mat Noor Nawi as chairman of the bank from July 15 last year.

Mat Noor had served as chairman from April 28, 2014 after the tenure of his predecessor Sabaruddin Chik was not renewed by the then minister Hasan Malek.