MACC to meet MAS to discuss Tajudin case

(The Malay Mail) – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has sought a meeting with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) following its complaint to MACC’s advisory board and the Parliamentary Special Committee on Corruption on the two police reports lodged against the airline’s former chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli.

MAS’ general manager for corporate services Dr Wafi Nazrin told The Malay Mail: “The MACC has sought a meeting with MAS, therefore, we are unable provide any further comments. However, we have written to the MACC’s Anti-Corruption Advisory Board and the Parliamentary Special Committee on Corruption which consisted of various documents, including correspondence by Datuk Ramli Yusuff who was then director of Police Commercial Crime Investigations Department.”

Wafi was responding to a query by The Malay Mail to MAS’ current chairman Datuk Dr Munir Majid concerning reports that he had given a copy of a letter dated March 26, 2007 and written by Ramli, to the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri (now Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Munir was also asked to confirm whether copies of the letter, which had been posted over the Internet, were genuine.

Copies of the said letter, which recommended that criminal charges be filed against Tajudin and his associates and family members for fraudulent business dealings when he was in charge of MAS, had first been posted on the Malaysia Today news portal run by Raja Petra Kamarudin.

The Malay Mail was informed by a source, who was present at the meeting with Abdullah, that “the letter looked the same as the bundle of documents presented to the former Prime Minister back then”.

The source said Abdullah had asked for the letter to be drafted shortly after Munir, together with Ramli, met him on the same day. Apart from Munir and Ramli, others who attended the meeting were Wafi, MAS director Datuk Annuar Zaini, MAS’ then managing director Datuk Idris Jala and several lawyers.

Last Thursday, The Malay Mail had reported Kubang Kerian MP Salahuddin Ayub, a member of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Corruption, had claimed that MACC jeopardised its investigations into the RM8 billion losses suffered by MAS more than 10 years ago.

The committee comprises lawmakers from the Dewan Rakyat and the Senate and is chaired by Kangar MP Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

MAS had first lodged a police report against Tajudin in 2002 for allegedly causing the national carrier to suffer losses in excess of RM8 billion.

According to a report to the MACC, one of the single biggest losses under Tajudin was caused by the relocation of MAS’ cargo operations in Amsterdam, Holland and Frankfurt, Germany to a single hub in Hahn, Germany, where the airline entered into a disadvantageous aircraft lease contract with a company which was under the control of Tajudin’s family.

The new cargo hub operations had caused MAS to suffer losses of between RM10 million and RM16 million a month before the project was terminated in 2001.

The termination resulted in a RM300 million arbitration claim against MAS by the company said to be linked to Tajudin.

The report to the MACC, dated May last year, also alleged that the Attorney-General had been reluctant to prosecute Tajudin, despite Ramli’s assurance in 2007 that police had identified various prosecutable offences.