Tabung Haji lodges police report over incorrect figures in FY17 accounts

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 17, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Lembaga Tabung Haji has lodged another police report — the third by its new board and management — in relation to its financial accounts for the year ended Dec 31, 2017 (FY17) and how representations by former key executives of the pilgrim fund led to the declaration of hibah (dividends) against the Tabung Haji Act 1995.

The report was lodged at the Dang Wangi police station here yesterday.

According to Tabung Haji, it has identified two executive working papers presented to the fund’s board of directors at two special board meetings on Feb 6 and 9, 2018 in the police report. The executive working papers were prepared by Tabung Haji group chief financial officer Datuk Rozaida Omar and supported by the then group managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Johan Abdullah.

“The executive working papers contain statements and representations which led to incorrect figures being reflected in the said financial statements, which were accepted by the board,” said Tabung Haji in a statement yesterday.

“On the basis of the said financial statements, the board made a recommendation to the minister responsible, who then approved the declaration of distributable hibah for FY17 of Hibah Tahunan of 4.5% and Hibah Haji of 1.75% in contravention of Section 22 of the Tabung Haji Act 1995,” it added.

The audited financial statements of Tabung Haji for FY17 were signed off on April 3, 2018 by the then chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Johan on behalf of the board and by Rozaida as the principal officer primarily responsible for the financial management and accounting records of Tabung Haji.

On Nov 30, 2018, Tabung Haji lodged two police reports against Abdul Azeez, Johan and another former CEO Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, as well as senior management staff. The latter comprised Rozaida, chief operating officer Datuk Adi Azuan Abdul Ghani, legal adviser Hazlina Mohd Khalid and senior general manager for corporate services and real estate Rifina Md Ariff.

The reports were lodged following internal investigations into past transactions, spearheaded by the new management, since July 2018.

The first report had involved Yayasan Tabung Haji’s 2017 programme where funds totalling over RM22 million were disbursed for activities with political inclinations.

The second report against Ismee, Hazlina and Rifina was related to alleged misrepresentations and withholding of material information involving Tabung Haji’s 2012 sale of 95% shareholdings in PT TH Indo Plantations held by two of its subsidiaries, namely TH Indopalms Sdn Bhd and TH Indo Industries Sdn Bhd, to PT Borneo Pacific for US$910 million.

Tabung Haji is now helmed by Tan Sri Mohammed Nor Md Yusof as its chairman and Datuk Seri Zukri Samat as its CEO.