Zakaria Arshad is an obstacle to Isa Samad

In 2005, Isa Samad was suspended from Umno for political corruption when he spent RM50 million to bribe the delegates and won the highest number of votes in the 2004 contest for VP. No investigation, however, was done regarding where that RM50 million came from. In 2011, Isa was appointed the Felda Chairman where he immediately indulged in an orgy of corruption. And now Isa needs to remove Zakaria Arshad so that he can bury the evidence before the MACC closes in on him and sends him to jail.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, the Chairman of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV), was asked yesterday about Malaysia Today’s report (READ HERE: Why Isa Samad wants to get rid of Zakaria Arshad) regarding his plot to remove  the company’s Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Zakaria Arshad (READ HERE).

ALSO READ: FGV chairman, Isa Samad, keeps mum on rumours of Zakaria’s removal

Isa was very evasive in his answer and replied, “As the procedures have not been exhausted, I cannot make any statement. The decision to be made is under the authority of the Board of Directors.”

Actually this is a lie. On 31st May 2017 Isa had already asked Zakaria to go, as the letter that Zakaria wrote to Isa of today’s date shows.

Zakaria Arshad’s letter to Isa Samad dated 5th June 2017 (READ HERE)

Hence Isa had gone behind the back of the Board of Directors and had acted in an ultra vires manner. Only now is Isa bringing the matter to the Board and only because Zakaria refuses to resign. So Isa is trying to use the Board to sack Zakaria. Hence not only did Isa lie but he acted illegally as well.

Isa further said, “We want our employees, whether new or old, to be efficient and effective in their work and understand governance well.”

Suspended from Umno in 2005, contests the election and wins in 2008, marries in 2010, and appointed the Felda Chairman in 2011: who says crime does not pay?

Yes, corporate governance, that magic phrase that critics of the government are so fond of bandying about. What does governance mean anyway? Governance means the framework of rules and practices by which a board of directors ensures accountability, fairness, and transparency.

Isa preaching governance is just like a whore preaching chastity and a ban on extramarital sex. This was a man who was found guilty of political corruption back in 2005. Why in heaven’s name he was appointed the Felda Chairman in 2011 is mind-boggling. That is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

Zahid Mat Arip handled Isa’s RM50 million slush fund that was used to bribe Umno delegates to the 2004 party election where it was alleged that more than half the money ‘got lost in transit’

Isa’s agent who organised gatherings and dinners for the Umno delegates to the 2004 annual assembly was Zahid Mat Arip, one-time PKR youth leader who returned to Umno and then defected to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s PPBM a.k.a. Pribumi and now has crossed over to Ezam Mohd Nor’s Parti Rasuah.

Isa gave Zahid Mat Arip RM50 million to organise gatherings and dinners where cash ‘allowances’ would be given to the delegates to cover their ‘expenses’ for attending the assembly. These ‘allowances’ for ‘expenses’ were actually bribes to vote for Isa, who won one of the three Vice President’s post with the highest number of votes.

READ BELOW: Isa Samad’s Political Comeback: When Corruption Pays…

The issue here is not about Isa coming out with RM50 million to win the highest number of votes in the Umno party election. It is about where did that RM50 million come from. Even Muhyiddin Yassin, who later became the Deputy Prime Minister, did not get as many votes as Isa. RM50 million sure buys a lot of votes, even though Zahid Mat Arip pocketed a large chunk of that money and distributed just about half the amount.

Anyway, Isa was caught because it was done so blatantly and openly (while Muhyiddin was more discreet in how he bribed the delegates). However, while he was disqualified and suspended from the party for this crime, they only took action on his bribery or political corruption. No action was taken against him (or even an investigation done) to establish where that RM50 million came from.

Clearly that money came from corruption. And, instead of sending him to jail, he was made the Felda Chairman, a cash-rich organisation that was ripe for plundering. And Isa plundered Felda good and proper like Vikings let loose amongst nuns (but that is another story for another time when we reveal how Isa ripped off Felda).

Isa needs to remove Zakaria so that he can cover his tracks and stay out of jail

And now Isa needs to cover his tracks because the MACC is breathing down his neck. Evidence needs to be buried and files need to disappear. But Isa cannot do this as long as Zakaria Arshad is still the Group President and Chief Executive Officer of FGV. And this is why Isa wants Zakaria sacked. Once Zakaria is sacked Isa can run rampage in FGV and do what is required to make sure all incriminating evidence disappears and he can stay out of jail.

Isa knows that Zakaria’s sacking will be declared unlawful and the case is going to end up in court. FGV may even have to pay compensation to Zakaria. But that does not matter. After all it will be FGV, and not Isa, that would be paying.

What matters is that Isa will not get arrested, convicted and jailed for corruption. And Isa does not care two hoots about his reputation because his reputation has already been destroyed long ago anyway. The whole country knows that Isa is corrupted like hell so what does it matter any longer? What matters is he stays out of jail and for that to happen Zakaria must first be removed.


Isa Samad’s Political Comeback: When Corruption Pays…

Al-Jafree Md Yusop, Malaysian Digest, 8 January 2011

“Don’t nominate Isa Samad as candidate”. These were the exact words uttered by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when asked to comment on talk that Isa, the Teluk Kemang Umno division head, was among those listed as candidates for the Bagan Pinang state by-election in September 2009.

He said Umno’s image would be affected as it would be viewed as not being serious about fighting money politics if it chose a candidate already found guilty of political corruption.

“Tan Sri Isa has already been found guilty. If Umno fields him, it means that Umno is not serious about such cases. Even if he can win there, (we) have to consider what the whole of Malaysia thinks of Umno,” Mahathir said.

Isa then won the Bagan Pinang by-election for Umno and BN with a 2,857 majority beating PAS candidate Zulkefly Mohamad Omar.

Isa was suspended for three years from June 24, 2005 on seven corruption charges for money politics in the 2004 Umno elections. The seven corruption charges of money politics and vote-buying which the Umno Disciplinary Board had preferred against him were:

1) Allowed his political secretary Mohd Salim Sharif to pay RM300 to each delegate from the Telok Kemang division to the Umno General Assembly on or about September 2004;

2) Allowed his agents to pay various amounts of money to delegates from the Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lipis and Bentong divisons to the Umno General Assembly on September 11.

3) Allowed his agents to pay RM1,000 each to delegates to the Umno General Assembly at the Crown Princess Hotel at 11 pm on September 22 and the morning of September 23.

4) Permitted his agents to pay RM1,000 each to delegates to the Umno General Assembly at or about 1am on Sep 23 at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

5) Allowed his agents to pay various sums of money to Sabah delegates to the Umno General Assembly about 1 am on Sep 23 at the Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

6) Allowed his agents to pay RM300 to Sabah Umno delegates at the Tanjung Aru Golf Club and the ‘Kandarah” Court, both of which are in Sabah in early September.

7) Allowed his agents to pay RM300 to Kedah Umno delegates at Holiday Villa Hotel, Alor Star and Kelab Cinta Sayang, Sungai Petani around two to three weeks before the 2004 Umno General Assembly.

He was originally suspended for six years or two terms but it was reduced after he appealed to the board.

During the time of the ancient Persia, corrupt politicians when found guilty would be sentenced to death by the method of flaying. This method of punishment was one the most painful ancient methods of them all. Flaying is the removal of skin from the body. Generally, an attempt is made to maintain the removed portion of skin intact. That was how serious political corruptions were look upon during the ancient times.

However, the story of Tan Sri Isa Samad is a different one. He was found guilty of all seven charges and yet he was still allowed to contest and won the Bagan Pinang state by-election. His political comeback continues with his appointment as the chairman of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) effective Jan 1 by the prime minister. Isa succeeds Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Noor who has been appointed advisor to the minister in charge of Felda, also effective Jan 1, 2011.

Isa celebrated his appointment by promising to aim for higher growth for the authority and better well-being for the settlers. He would capitalise on the achievements accomplished by his predecessor, Yusof, who was instrumental in Felda’s growth in plantation management and businesses at home and abroad.

Isa’s appointment then came under fire by none other than the Felda’s Settlers’ Children’s Association (ANAK). According to its chairman, Mazlan Aliman, “Based on the previous wrong doings of him (Isa), it is clear that he (Isa) is not a trustworthy leader. I urge the Prime Minister to withdraw the appointment.”

Describing Isa, who was suspended from Umno in 2005 over money politics, as an ‘expired leader who is unfit to lead Felda’, the group urged the prime minister to immediately cancel the appointment. Mazlan said the future of Felda, which is the body responsible for the development of rural lands, should not be ‘gambled’ by placing it under the care of those with a track record of corruption. He also referred to a recent statement by deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Ahmad Maslan who said many Felda settlers had turned into successful academicians and professionals, and questioned why they were not considered to lead Felda.

“So why did we not pick them? We have settlers’ children who are successful in GLC (government linked company), academicians, division directors – are all these people not qualified to lead Felda to the extent we have to make do with an expired leader?” asked Mazlan.

With the return of Tan Sri Isa Samad, trying to figure out Umno and BN’s strategy to win big in the next general election is like going through Christopher Nolan’s complex blockbuster ‘Inception’. It seems multilayered and too cerebral for a simple guy like me. Its either I am too slow or there is something wrong with the way Najib and gang are strategising their political move. I’m hoping for the former as when it comes to my country. To quote Mr Spock from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.”