Sabah Umno calls for MACC probe into land deal

Sabah Umno Youth chief Abdul Aziz Julkarnain claims the Bagahak land deal is to favour Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno Youth chief Abdul Aziz Julkarnain has urged graft busters to look into Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s move to hand over 6,800ha of land they had been cultivating to the Bagahak community in Lahad Datu.

He alleged that the Warisan leader’s motive was to “bail out” his deputy, Christina Liew, who had been ordered by the Sabah courts. together with two others, to pay RM577 million in damages.

“This has become a complex and complicated matter after Shafie agreed to hand over the land to the settlers and compensate Borneo Samudera, a company owned by Sawit Kinabalu, with a replacement piece of land.

“Personally, I am not against Shafie on this, but I question the underlying motive. Is Shafie trying to save Liew’s political career?” he asked in a statement here today.

Earlier today, former prime minister Najib Razak had also questioned the deal.

Aziz also questioned whether the 18,000ha replacement land for Borneo Samudera was an inducement for the state GLC to withdraw their summons against Liew under a so-called “win-win formula”.

Aziz alleged the Warisan-led Sabah government had tried to save Liew from the charges on several occasions but had failed.

Aziz believed the state GLC will now withdraw their summons against Liew when the court considers her appeal.

Aziz said Shafie’s move did not make sense as the company is contributing revenue for the state government and may now face losses.

Liew and two others were found guilty in 2014 of unlawfully inducing a group of smallholders to breach their joint venture agreement with Borneo Samudera.

The others were Samsuri Baharuddin, the lawyer for a group of 819 smallholders in the Bagahak smallholders’ scheme, and Siti Rahfizah Mihaldin, Liew’s former clerk.

The High Court awarded RM557 million in damages to Borneo Samudera after ruling that it had proven the requisite conditions in law of inducement of breach of contract.

On Feb 17 this year, the court rejected Liew’s bid to introduce fresh evidence in their appeal against the High Court decision. Liew, who was then a lawyer in the opposition, has appealed against the decision.

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