TEHERAN: Land and Co-operative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam has submitted his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
The resignation is effective from yesterday.
Abdullah, who confirmed this, said Kasitah took the decision to resign as he wanted to concentrate fully on his court case.
He said Kasitah handed him the letter when they met at his (Abdullah's) residence in Putrajaya yesterday morning.
He said he had not decided on who would replace Kasitah but that the decision would be made as soon as possible.
“If no one can assume the duties I could act (as the minister) if necessary,” he told reporters after holding discussions with Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami on the sidelines of the D8 summit.
Abdullah said the charge against Kasitah was based on investigations by the Anti-Corruption Agency.
“Based on the investigations, (it was found) there is a case against him. That is why he was taken to court.
“We cannot interfere with the ACA investigations. This is the enforcement of the law. I did not interfere with the investigations,” he said.
Asked what would happen if Kasitah was cleared of charges, Abdullah said “the matter would be left for later.”
Kasitah, who is on a RM1mil bail, has stated that he would let the court process clear his name.
Kasitah is accused of using his position as Sabah Land Development Board chairman for his financial gain by taking part in the decision to approve a proposal for the sale of 16.8 million shares held by the board in Sapi Plantations Sdn Bhd to Briskmark Enterprise Sdn Bhd where he was promised 3.36 million shares in Sapi Plantations.
He is alleged to have committed the offence at the forum meeting room of Fairlane Hotel on Oct 22, 1996.
Kasitah is also alleged to have deceived Sabah Land Development Board by omitting to disclose the offer by PPB Oil Palms Sdn Bhd to allocate five shares of the company for each share of Sapi Plantations in the proposal by PPB Oil Palms for listing on the KLSE.
He thereby induced the board to approve the sale of 16.8 million shares held by Sabah Land Development Board in Sapi Plantations to Brismark Enterprise whereas it would not have approved the sale if it had known about the offer.
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