MACC raids UDA over former top official’s bills
UPDATED @ 03:51:03 PM 20-07-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Anti-graft officers took files from UDA Holdings Bhd yesterday that are related to investigations into a former top official’s unsubstantiated monetary claims that totalled nearly RM1 million, sources said.
The Malaysian Insider understands the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations are linked to former chief executive Datuk Jaafar Abu Hassan, who suddenly left the government-owned property developer in June 2011.
“MACC officers came in and took some files linked to the claims which were unearthed during an audit check,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.
It is learnt that UDA Holdings has taken civil action to get its money that paid for the claims.
“The UDA board is already taking action while the MACC is looking at the criminal elements of the case,” another source said.
The MACC this week charged former Sime Darby Bhd chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid with cheating and criminal breach of trust related to plantation land deals in Sarawak, in what is seen as the Najib administration’s drive to weed out corruption.
Zubir quit his post in 2010 after Sime Darby incurred RM1.7 billion losses in its engineering unit while Jaafar, who spent six years helming the government firm, quit his post before his contract expired. Pro-government blogs reported his resignation last year but speculated that he was asked to leave as he could not justify his claims.
Under Jaafar, UDA Holdings had completed the refurbishment of the capital city’s Puduraya bus station into Puduraya Sentral and a hotel project in Pekan, the parliamentary constituency and birthplace of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
UDA Holdings has hit the news in the past year over its proposed re-development of the Pudu Jail land and possible demolishment of Bukit Bintang Plaza to make way for the My Rapid Transit (MRT) project’s Bukit Bintang station. Its plan to sell a piece of land in Jalan Sultan Ismail was aborted after the Treasury did not give its nod last year.
The government firm is now helmed by managing director Ahmad Abu Bakar from last March with Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed serving his second term as chairman.
Ahmad was previously chief executive officer of Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd and was an executive director of Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd.
The managing director has been busy with Bukit Bintang Plaza traders who are up in arms over plans to redevelop the site together with the Bukit Bintang MRT station. The traders are lodging a report with the MACC this morning, claiming there is corruption in UDA Holdings.
A group of traders also lodged a report with the MACC this morning, accusing UDA Holdings of committing criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and favouritism.
UDA Holdings, which has some choice land in the capital city and also Johor Baru, is now reviewing proposals to develop the former Pudu Jail site, known as Bukit Bintang City Centre or BBCC.
The Finance Ministry has proposed to divide BBCC into three plots in order to maximise the value of the land although UDA Holdings had received a RM2 billion offer from a mainland Chinese company to jointly develop the land.