Shahrir paid RM549,090 for Puri Langkasuka project rehabilitation works - witness

KUALA LUMPUR: A businessman told the High Court here that he received a payment of RM549,090 from Tan Sri Shahrir Ab Samad to carry out the rehabilitation works on the Puri Langkasuka project in Larkin, which had been abandoned for eight years.

Syed Mohsin Syed Sagaf, 65, said the former Felda chairman paid the money after his son's company, YM Auto Wheels Enterprise, issued three invoices worth RM206,100, RM256,950 and RM86,040 respectively.

"I personally submitted the three invoices dated March 22, 2014 to Tan Sri Shahrir regarding the repair works for Block C, D and E of the project. I instructed the employee of my son’s company named Zul to issue those invoices," said the 10th prosecution witness on Wednesday (Aug 10).

He said this in his witness statement at the trial of the former Johor Baru MP, who is charged with failing to declare RM1mil, which he received from Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

According to the witness, he used his son's company to issue the invoice because he did not have his own company.

Syed Mohsin said that in October 2013, Shahrir had asked him to find a contractor for the project which is now known as Sri Anugerah because the politician knew that he had many friends who worked as contractors.

"Since we know each other very well, I agreed to help him (Shahrir). Tan Sri Shahrir and I visited the project site and we discussed the payment for the rehabilitation works and when it can begin," said Syed Mohsin, who has known Shahrir for over 30 years.

Syed Mohsin said he had started the rehabilitation works including repairing the damaged doors, flooring and wiring in October 2013 using his own money to buy building materials, pay the suppliers and workers' wages.

When he had run out of financial capital, the witness met Shahrir at his office and asked for payment.

Asked by deputy public prosecutor Mohd 'Afif Ali if Shahrir had told him about the source of the money, Syed Mohsin said: "No.”

Questioned by Shahrir’s counsel, Datuk Syed Faisal Al-Edros Syed Abdullah Al-Edros, on whether Shahrir was someone who can be trusted because he used his own money to pay for the project, Syed Mohsin said: "Yes, I can trust Tan Sri Shahrir because he is the best people’s representative.”

Earlier, the former owner of YM Auto Wheels Enterprise, Syed Yussof, 30, who is the son of Syed Mohsin told the court that the three invoices were signed by his father.

Asked by deputy public prosecutor Rasyidah Murni Azmi if he knew that his father had used the company's name for the project, Syed Yussof said that he knew it, but did not receive any commission from his father.

Syed Yussof said the used car company is no longer operating.

Shahrir, 72, was charged with money laundering, by not stating his real income in the Income Tax Return Form for Assessment Year 2013, which is a violation of Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, on the RM1mil, believed to be from unlawful activities, which he received from Najib through a cheque.

He was charged with committing the offence at LHDN, Duta branch, Government Office Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here on April 25, 2014.

The charge, framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, provides a maximum fine of RM5mil, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both if found guilty.

The trial before Justice Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues Thursday (Aug 11). – Bernama

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