Umno Youth wants Finance Ministry and Tabung Haji to explain land deal

A man walks past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the funds flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur.

PETALING JAYA - Umno Youth wants the Finance Ministry and Lembaga Tabung Haji to explain the fund's purchase of land at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) from 1Malaysia Deve­lopment Bhd (1MDB).

Its chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the matter, which he described as "getting worse", must be addressed as it had raised speculation that could lead to public anger.

He said although Tabung Haji had to invest in the equity market and real estate to generate returns to be distributed to depositors as dividends, what was at dispute was the manner of transaction.

He urged the ministry to reveal the total price paid by 1MDB for the entire 28ha of TRX land and the average rate it paid for the 0.64ha parcel which was later sold to Tabung Haji for RM188.5mil (S$69.6 million).

"Is it true that the initial plan before selling the plot of land to 1MDB was to sell this to Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputra, to increase land ownership among bumiputra?

"1MDB will also receive RM188.5mil from the transaction with Tabung Haji. What will the proceeds be used for?" he said in his posting on Facebook yesterday.

Khairy, who is also Rembau MP, questioned if there was conflict of interest, considering that Lembaga Tabung Haji group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Ismee Ismail also sits on the 1MDB board.

Tabung Haji group managing director and CEO Datuk Johan Abdullah and Tan Sri Abdul Samad Alias are also involved in both entities.

"If this is true, were the discounts on the purchase price given to Tabung Haji based on the agreement that it would pay the entire RM188.5mil immediately after the signing of the sale and purchase agreement?" he asked.

The Youth and Sports Minister also questioned the assessment by the Tabung Haji investment panel in approving the purchase.

On Thursday, Tabung Haji defended its decision to buy the land, saying it was forking out RM188.5mil for the 0.64ha parcel while its fair value was RM194mil.