Cancel Tabung Haji bailout of 1MDB, says Syed Ali


Cheras Umno leader says government must intervene and call off the deal.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Cheras Umno leader Syed Ali Alhabshee, describing the Tabung Haji-1MDB property deal as a bailout, has called for government intervention to call off the deals and for 1MDB’s assets to be frozen.

Writing in his blog today, the influential division leader said 1MDB should be barred from any commercial transactions until the completion of government investigations by a task force led by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

He asked: “What else [other than bailout] would anyone call the decision by Tabung Haji to enter into a high risk project and pay between 48 to 65 times more to purchase land from [the] debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund?”

Syed Ali said Tabung Haji’s own internal risk management team had not been in favour of the pilgrims’ fund buying a 40-storey apartment building and 74-storey office building.

The property market was dull because of weakening demand, and there was an oversupply of luxury high-rise residences in the Klang Valley, he said. Media reports had shown that investors from Qatar and Abu Dhabi might reconsider their investments in those properties they had already bought.

“Despite this, Tabung Haji had inked a deal with the sovereign fund, amounting to RM772 million,” he said. “We must be careful that government funds and other public institutions not be used to bail out 1MDB.”