KUALA LUMPUR — Oct. 8, 2019: The value of a hotel in Kuching bought in 2014 by a subsidiary of Felda continued to depreciate after that and was listed at less than half by last year.
Felda Investment Corporation Sdn. Bhd. paid RM160 million for the Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites (MPHS) but by 2017 it was valued at RM80 million, before going down further to RM77.4 million last year, causing N unrealised loss to the buyer.
According to FICSB chief financial officer Azlan Mohamed Ismail, in 2017 the board of directors asked for a reevaluation and appointed CH Williams Talhar Wong & Yeo Sdn. Bhd. to do the job.
FICSB bought the hotel from Syarikat Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn. Bhd.
The offer of RM85 million was however retracted after due diligence while the other offer was raised to RM77.5 million, testified Azlan when reading his witness statement during the trial of former Felda chairmanTan Sri Mohd. Isa Abdul Samad before Justice Mohd. Nazlan Mohd. Ghazali.
The unrealised loss was stated in the financial statement for 2016 and 2018.
Azlan also told prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz that the reevaluation of the property was a decision by Isa’s successor Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad and nine new board members who were appointed in 2017.
In December last year Isa pleaded not guilty to criminal breach of trust and nine allegations of receiving bribes totalling more than RM3 million between April 2014 and December 2015.
The trial continues tomorrow.