DBKL offered land to developer based on Ku Nan’s approval — witness

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 5, 2019.

Tengku Adnan (right) faces a jail term of up to two years or a fine or both if found guilty. Photos by Patrick Goh

Ab Salim arriving in court where he testified that Kuala Lumpur City Hall agreed to offer land to Aset Kayamas upon the approval by Tengku Adnan.

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KUALA LUMPUR: Former federal territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (popularly known as Ku Nan) had approved the sale of two lots of land measuring 4.048 acres in Bandar Tun Razak to property developer Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, the High Court was told yesterday.

Upon the approval by Tengku Adnan, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) agreed to offer the land to Aset Kayamas on May 27, 2015, said retired DBKL enforcement director Ab Salim Mansor.

Ab Salim, 61, was testifying against Tengku Adnan who is accused of receiving a RM2 million cheque from Aset Kayamas which was then deposited into the account of the ex-minister’s investment firm Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Tengku Adnan is alleged to have committed the offence in June 2016, when it was known that Aset Kayamas had connection with his official duties as the federal territories minister.

The charge under Section 165 of the Penal Code provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both, on conviction.

Ab Salim, who served as DBKL’s economic planning and development coordination (JPEPP) director, was referred to a letter dated June 3, 2015, issued by JPEPP to the secretary-general of the federal territories ministry for evaluation of the Bandar Tun Razak land.

He confirmed that the letter was prepared by one Razalia Khalid, the officer in charge of handling the application to sell the land to Aset Kayamas, and that he, who was then the director, signed the letter.

Aset Kayamas intended to build an affordable housing project, comprising a 41-storey apartment block with 427 units, and an eight-storey car park under the first phase, he said.

“Under the second phase, Aset Kayamas planned to build a 41-storey apartment block with 623 units, an eight-storey car park and other facilities, while in the third phase, the company planned to build a hostel for the DBKL training centre,” he added.

Cross-examined by Tengku Adnan’s lead counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, Ab Salim agreed that Aset Kayamas stood to lose RM5.7 million to RM5.8 million by selling 120 units of affordable homes at a price of RM150,000 to DBKL’s staff.

Tan: I refer to a letter dated Aug 26, 2015 sent by Aset Kayamas to the minister. This was the first time that there is a commitment made by Aset Kayamas to build 120 units affordable homes for DBKL staff with a price of RM150,000?

Ab Salim: Yes.

Tan: Are you aware that it was the minister who “persuaded” the developer to build the 120 units of affordable homes for DBKL staff?

Ab Salim: Yes, I’m aware.

Tan: Do you agree that he (Tengku Adnan) did so for the benefit of the DBKL staff?

Ab Salim: I agree.

Meanwhile, Yu Chong Sin, operations manager at Hong Leong Bank Bhd’s Jalan Kenanga branch, confirmed that a withdrawal of RM2 million was made on June 14, 2016 from Aset Kayamas’ account through a cheque.

Yu also verified that the Aset Kayamas’ account remains active until now.

Yu, 38, also confirmed the details of Aset Kayamas which were furnished by the company when it opened an account with Hong Leong Islamic Bank on Jan 18, 2011.

Earlier, former Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz reiterated that the handwritten note placed by Tengku Adnan in a letter sent by Aset Kayamas to the former on Feb 3, 2016, was, in fact, a “decision”.

The note read:” YBhg Datuk Seri Mayor, Agree to land value plus 10%, and deferment of payment to April 1, 2016”.

The note by Tengku Adnan prompted DBKL to approve the request made by Aset Kayamas for another payment postponement and a reduction to an increase of the sale price from 20% to 10%, Mohd Amin told the court.

The trial before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues on Tuesday.