KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) initially rejected Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd's application to purchase two plots of its land as it had been slated for other purposes, but this was later approved by a committee chaired by Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (pic).
Former DBKL Economic Planning and Development Department (JPEPP) director Kamariah Ibrahim told the court Wednesday (July 10) that the lots located at Bandar Tun Razak were meant to be developed into staff hostels.
Kamariah is the 14th prosecution witness in the corruption trial of Tengku Adnan.
The former federal territories minister was charged on Jan 23 this year (2019) for allegedly receiving RM2 mil as a bribe from Aset Kayamas chairman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong.
Reading from her witness statement, Kamariah said that Aset Kayamas' proposal to purchase the lots were rejected on April 3, 2015.
"As the land had been slated to be developed into Institute DBKL's hostels, the (then) Kuala Lumpur mayor decided not to sell the land.
"So on April 3, 2015, the mayor rejected the application to purchase the land on the grounds that DBKL has it's own plans to develop the land," she said.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib was mayor from July 18, 2012 to July 17, 2015.
However, a steering committee meeting that was chaired after the office of the then Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan forwarded Aset Kayamas' letter to the mayor, then stated that it had no objection to the company's proposal, she said.
Later, an OSC special committee meeting that was chaired by Tengku Adnan approved Aset Kayamas' proposal to purchase the lots, she added.
Under examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor Hadariah Siri, Kamariah then explained that one of the lots was purchased by DBKL from an outside party to be developed as hostels.
"One of the lots was originally private land that we purchased.
"We wanted to prioritise building hostels since the lots are near the institute, (so we) felt that the land should not be sold," she said, adding that the purchase of the lot did not "come cheap" (tidak murah).
Kamariah further explained that the information about the intended use of the lots was brought up during the OSC special committee meeting.
"We did bring up (the fact) that we did not agree (to sell the land) as we thought that the land was meant to be developed into hostels.
"But at the end it was agreed by the meeting as the project (proposed by Aset Kayamas) would still include the hostels," she said.
Kamariah also told the court that most of the applications regarding DKBL land purchases came through the Federal Territories Minister's office.
"In almost all the cases, the application would come (to DBKL) from the minister's office.
"With that, then we (DBKL) open a file and discuss the matter," she said.
The trial will continue before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan on Thursday (July 11).