Isa Samad to be charged with abuse of power, say sources

Sources say new evidence has emerged against former Umno leader Isa Samad.

PETALING JAYA: Former Umno leader Isa Samad is expected to be charged with abuse of power related to an overpriced purchase of a Sarawak hotel when he was chairman of national land agency Felda.

The Straits Times cited sources as saying that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is expected to recommend charges against Isa after completing its probe into Felda’s 2014 purchase of the Merdeka Palace hotel in Kuching, Sarawak.

“The MACC will be submitting the completed investigation papers and its recommendations to the Attorney-General’s Chambers next week. It will then wait for the AGC’s order for the next course of action,” a source told the Singapore daily.

The source said limited access had hampered the gathering of evidence against Isa previously but investigators had since picked up from where they left off following the emergence of new proof.

Another source said the anti-graft agency was looking at charging Isa under Section 23 of the MACC Act, for alleged abuse of power.

Merdeka Palace is a five-star hotel with 213 rooms. It was bought by Felda subsidiary Felda Investment Corporation for RM160 million when it was supposedly worth only RM110 million.

Isa, who is also the former menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan and a vice-president of Umno, took charge of Felda in 2011. He stepped down in January last year after the agency and its listed arm Felda Global Ventures racked up debt and suffered financial losses. Felda’s debt stood at RM8 billion as at the end of June this year.