Corruption trial of ex-Tabung Haji chairman postponed

Former Tabung Haji chairman Azeez Abdul Rahim.

KUALA LUMPUR: The corruption trial of former Tabung Haji chairman Azeez Abdul Rahim and his brother Latif Abdul Rahim has been postponed to tomorrow to allow him to attend the Parliament session.

Defence lawyer Hisyam Teh said Azeez, who is Baling MP, needed to be in Parliament for the second reading of the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Bill 2020.

Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi allowed the defence’s application to delay the trial.

“I will allow the case to be heard tomorrow,” she said.

Azeez was charged in January 2019 with three counts of bribery involving RM5.2 million linked to road projects in Perak and Kedah, and nine counts of money laundering involving nearly RM140 million. His brother was charged with abetting him.

The corruption charges were made under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, while the money laundering charges were made under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

Azeez was accused of receiving RM5.2 million from Mohammad Redzuan Mohanan Abdullah, director of Syarikat Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd, in the Klang Valley between December 2010 and April 2018.

The money allegedly paid to Azeez was said to be an inducement to allow Menuju Asas to obtain RM842.3 million worth of road upgrade projects in Kedah and Perak through direct negotiations.

He was also accused of receiving RM139.34 million from four companies, namely Syarikat Menuju Asas, Mangkubumi Sdn Bhd, Pintas Utama Sdn Bhd and AVP Engineering Sdn Bhd.

His brother, Latif, was accused of abetting him on two counts in obtaining a RM4 million bribe, part of the RM5.2 million allegedly received by the Baling MP.

Azeez, Latif and their cousin were arrested in September 2018 for investigations into corruption and money laundering offences.

MACC raided Azeez’s houses and offices in the Klang Valley and Baling and seized RM500,000.

Azeez previously claimed that the money was part of his Umno allocation as well as from Kelab Putera 1Malaysia.