Felcra board never discussed RM150 million investment, says witness

Bung Moktar Radin and his wife Zizie Ezette are on trial accused of corruption.

KUALA LUMPUR: A former Felcra director told the Sessions Court today that a new investment totalling RM150 million in a Public Mutual unit trust was never discussed at the board of directors’ meetings before it was approved by the then Finance Minister II Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

Dr Habibah Suleiman, 72, said Ahmad Husni’s decision to approve the investment was conveyed to the Felcra board meeting in June 2015.

She said this during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Siti Noor Hafizan Zakaria in the corruption trial of Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin and his wife, actress Zizie Ezette A Samad.

When questioned by Siti Noor Hafizan on the investment amount that she was aware of, Habibah said: “As far as I know, it was only RM50 million.”

To a question on who had the final decision on the new investment, the fifth prosecution witness said: “Actually, all decisions must be made by the Felcra BOD.”

When cross-examined by lawyer K Kumaraendran, who represented Zizie Ezette, on whether she had queried Finance Ministry representative Mohd Isa Hussain about the RM150 million investment, the witness said: “No.”

Kumaraendran: Why didn’t you ask Datuk Mohd Isa about the RM150 million investment?

Habibah: I felt that it was a decision by the Finance Ministry and no one from the board of directors had questioned this.

However, the witness agreed with Kumaraendran’s suggestion that Mohd Isa had knowledge of the RM150 million investment in the Public Mutual unit trust.

“This was because Mohd Isa’s signature was on the Government Investment Companies Division memo,” said Habibah.

Bung, 60, who was at that time the non-executive chairman of Felcra, was charged with taking a bribe of RM2.2 million from Public Mutual investment agent Madhi Abdul Hamid, 38, through his wife Zizie Ezette.

He was accused of committing the offence as an inducement to obtain approval by the Finance Minister II for Felcra to invest RM150 million in the Public Mutual unit trust.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Taman Melawati Public Bank branch here between 12.30pm and 5pm on June 12, 2015.

On the second count, Bung was charged with corruptly receiving RM262,500 in bribes for himself from the same individual through Public Islamic Treasures Growth Fund account number 044797816 registered under Zizie Ezette’s name for the same purpose.

Bung was also charged with corruptly receiving RM337,500 in bribes from Public Mutual investment agent Norhaili Ahmad Mokhtar, 42, through the Public Ittikal Sequel Fund account number 044797824 – also under Zizie Ezette’s name – for the same purpose.

Both the offences were allegedly committed at the same location at 12.16pm and 12.28pm on June 19, 2015.

Zizie Ezette, 41, had pleaded not guilty to three charges of abetting her husband.

The charges carry a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of up to five times the bribe amount or RM10,000 upon conviction.

The hearing before Judge Rozina Ayob continues on Aug 12.