Malaysia probes purchase of high-end London property by Felda Investment

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is initiating a probe into the purchase of high-end property in Kensington, London by Felda Investment Corporation (FIC).

It is learnt a four-star hotel in the upmarket Kensington area was purchased by FIC between 2013 and 2015.

The hotel was purchased for £60mil (RM330mil), which made it the 12th investment in Felda's Group hospitality portfolio.

The MACC said it had received new information about the purchase which aroused suspicions of corruption.

Following this, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad directed a special team to open up an investigation paper over the purchase.

Sources said the team had already seized documents in relation to the purchase and are in the midst of scrutinising them.

It is alleged that FIC had paid more than the actual market value of the property, causing it to suffer millions of ringgit in losses.

Investigations will focus on uncovering any alleged elements of corruption or abuse of power in the process of acquiring the property.

Several key witnesses will be called in soon to have their statements recorded.

The said property comprises 62 units of guest rooms and two units of three-bedroom serviced apartments.

The hotel was launched in December 2014 by then Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad.

FIC was established in 2013, with a focus on real estate, hospitality and the oil and gas sectors.