KUALA LUMPUR: Former mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz told the High Court here today that he received two letters containing “directives” from former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
The letters pertained to the sale of land to a developer, Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd.
The seventh prosecution witness in the RM2 million bribery trial involving Tengku Adnan said both letters dated Aug 26, 2015 and Feb 3, 2016, from Aset Kayamas, were appeals for land price discount and to withhold the 10% initial payment.
“The Aset Kayamas letter (dated 26 Aug 2015) contained minutes of the Honourable Minister to me, which read ‘Ybhg Datuk Bandar, please withhold the 10% payment for three months’.
“In this letter, Aset Kayamas had appealed for a discount in the land price and to delay the first 10% payment of RM2,356,240.00 for the Federal Territories Affordable Housing (Rumawip) project.”
The witness elaborated that the letter related to the sale of DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) land on Lot 53247 and Lot 53653 to Aset Kayamas.
“The approvals for the sale of the land to Aset Kayamas were made by the Federal Territories minister before I was appointed mayor of Kuala Lumpur,“ he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Lailawati Ali on the second day of the trial.
Tengku Adnan, as a public servant, namely, Federal Territories minister, is accused of accepting for himself RM2 million from Chai Kin Kong via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd.
The cheque was deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holding Sdn Bhd in which he had an interest and knew that Aset Kayamas had connections with his official duties.
He allegedly committed the offence at CIMB Bank Berhad, Pusat Bandar Damansara Branch here on June 14, 2016, under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides for jail term of up to two years or fine or both, upon conviction.
The 64-year-old witness who held the Kuala Lumpur mayor post until Sept 30, 2018 went on to say that he had minuted the letter to DBKL Economic Planning director Ab Salim Mansor for him to take further action.
“The next course of action is to reply to Aset Kayamas based on the minister’s directive as minuted in the Aset Kayamas letter dated Aug 26, 2015, whereby DBKL had agreed to extend the 10% payment to Dec 1, 2015 or earlier.
“On the land valuation reduction, the company was asked to re-apply to the Ministry of Finance’s Valuation and Services Department (JPPH) as the original land price assessment was determined by JPPH and not DBKL,“ he said.
Mhd Amin Nordin when reading his witness statement said Aset Kayamas once again appealed for a reduction in land price through a letter dated Feb 3, 2016 and to defer the 10% to April 1, 2016.
He said Tengku Adnan also minuted the letter with, “Ybhg Datuk Seri Datuk Bandar, agree with the valuation price + 10% and defer payment to 1/4/16”.
According to the witness, DBKL considered Aset Kayamas’ application and granted an approval through a letter dated March 16, 2016.
“The contents of this letter stated that DBKL agreed to reduce the percentage increase in sale price from 20% to 10% and also to extend the 10% payment to April 1 2016 based on the minister’s directive,“ he said.
When asked by DPP on who had the authority to approve the application, Mhd Amin Nordin replied: “As far as I know the minister can direct me on any decision on land application and I must exercise and obey the minister’s instructions.”
Cross examined by Tengku Adnan’s lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan on whether he knew that one of the reasons for the minister to suggest the payment deferment as minuted was because the developer had proposed benefits for DBKL’s staff and construction of a DBKL training hostel, the witness replied he did.
Tan: I put it to you other reasons why the minister had suggested to the deferment in payment was because the appeal process was too time-consuming.
Mhd Amin Nordin: Yes I am aware.
Tan: Do you agree, DBKL was in accord with the minister that the developer should allot 0.5 acres to build a hostel and construct 120 housing units for DBKL staff at a price of RM150,000 (each)?
Mhd Amin Nordin: Yes.
Tan: Do you or not agree, DBKL had the final say ... the minister can only propose but the power (to decide) is in the hands of the mayor?
Mhd Amin Nordin: The authority is probably in the mayor’s hands but he did not dare make the decisions.
The trial before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow. — Bernama