KUALA LUMPUR: A member of Felcra Bhd’s board of directors today said former company chairman Bung Moktar Radin told them the finance minister had recommended that the company invest up to RM150 million in unit trust funds.
Habibah Suleiman told the Sessions Court that Bung Moktar said he had met the finance minister and forwarded Felcra’s application letter to invest in unit trust funds.
However, she did not say which finance minister he was referring to.
“We (board of directors) had approved a proposal for RM50 million to be invested in unit trust funds but the amount was later increased to RM150 million.
“I assumed that Bung Moktar made amendments to increase the RM50 million to RM150 million after he told us about the minister’s recommendations,” Habibah said in her witness statement in the Kinabatangan MP’s corruption trial.
Bung Moktar is accused of receiving RM2.8 million in bribes to secure a RM150 million investment by Felcra in Public Mutual Bhd through two unit trust fund investment accounts belonging to his wife, actress Zizie Izzette.
Habibah told the court the directors first knew about the proposed investment at a board meeting on Nov 26, 2014.
“I told the board meeting that it was risky to invest in unit trust funds at the time because of the economic situation.
“However, we agreed to make the investments provided the Treasury gave their approval first,” she said.
Habibah said the board was taken by surprise on the three-fold increase in investment, but they accepted the Treasury’s decision.
Earlier, former Felcra chief executive officer Ramlee Abu Bakar testified that any proposals on investments must go through the management first and later submitted to the board of directors.
“If both management and board agree to the proposal, it will be taken to the rural development ministry to be endorsed and to the Treasury for approval.
“However, for this RM150 million investment, the proposal was not tabled to the management first and went straight to the board of directors,” he said.
Before the court adjourned, the couple’s lawyer, K Kumaraendran, said the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin would be announcing if there was going to be a national lockdown because of Covid-19.
However, Sessions judge Rozina Ayob said the chief registrar’s office had issued a directive for all trials to proceed. “If there is a lockdown, the courts will be informed about it,” she said.
The hearing continues tomorrow.