FT minister given priority, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) gave priority to instructions from the Federal Territories Minister when making decisions regarding applications and appeals by developers.

Former DBKL Economic Planning and Development Department (JPEPP) director Ab Salim Mansor said that priority was given to the minister’s instructions over those from his deputy, the mayor and other DBKL officials.

Ab Salim said this yesterday under examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor Hadariah Siri, who asked about the procedures used by DBKL in dealing with instructions from the minister.

Speaking of Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd’s applications to DBKL regarding the purchase of two plots of DBKL land in Bandar Tun Razak, he said the then Kuala Lumpur mayor had forwarded him letters mentioning the minister’s directives.

“What was your next course of action after receiving the minutes from the minister?” asked DPP Hadariah.

“When I received the minutes, I went to see the mayor to discuss what the department needed to do.

“The orders have been given and usually we send out letters to the company that is making the application,” Ab Salim replied.

He added that DBKL then gave its agreement to Aset Kayamas’ application.

Ab Salim was a prosecution witness to Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s bribery trial.

The former Federal Territories minister was charged on Jan 23 with receiving RM2mil as bribery from Aset Kayamas chairman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong.

Aset Kayamas had asked for a delay in paying the first 10% payment for the plots and a reduction to only 10% of the additional 20% payment that was added on the land value for the plots.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, Ab Salim, however, agreed that DBKL followed procedures even with instructions from the minister.

Tan: When the mayor receives (applications), he will forward to JPEPP?

Ab Salim: Yes.

Tan: And JPEPP will evaluate or give its feedback to the mayor?

Ab Salim: Yes.

Tan: Then (despite) any minutes by the minister, you will use the procedure?

Ab Salim: Yes.

Earlier, former Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz disagreed with Tan whether Tengku Adnan’s instructions should be taken as a suggestion (cadangan) or a directive (arahan).

Tan: I put it to you that it is a suggestion (from the minister).

Amin: I disagree.

Later, Tan remarked: “To be fair to you, of course, the minister has an influence. Everywhere in the world, politicians have an influence.”

Amin only smiled in response. Amin had on Wednesday implied that while the mayor had the authority over the sale of DBKL lands, the minister had the final say.

The trial will continue before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan on Tuesday.

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