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Outright sale of DBKL land during Tengku Adnan's time: Ex-mayor

 

KUALA LUMPUR (July 17): The High Court yesterday was told that since the appointment of Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (pictured) as federal territories minister in 2013, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) received numerous applications from developers to purchase its land through outright sale.

Former Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Phesal Talib, 65, said outright sales were not a common practice for DBKL.

“Outright sale in this case is sale of land owned by the mayor of Kuala Lumpur to developers for certain projects only, such as [the] Affordable Homes [project].

“In the past, the concept of development on DBKL land was joint venture between DBKL and developers,” he said when reading a written statement in the corruption trial of Tengku Adnan.

Ahmad Phesal, currently deputy chairman of the Education Commission of Malaysia, said in order to meet the target of the federal territories ministry to build 80,000 units of affordable homes in Kuala Lumpur, Tengku Adnan directed DBKL to identify potential land for the purpose.

He said for DBKL, outright sale of its land was a new practice at the time so there was no standard operating procedure to follow. DBKL implemented the concept based on policies and regulations set by the federal government.

On the procedure of selling DBKL-owned land through outright sale, he said the process started with an application from the developer to purchase and develop certain plots via a letter to the then federal territories minister seeking his support.

He said the developers would identify the land they wanted through making official searches themselves at the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Lands and Mines office.

“DBKL never made any advertisements to invite any person to purchase its land,” said Ahmad Phesal who was the mayor for three years from July 2012.

To a question by Tengku Adnan’s lawyer on whether the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Affordable Homes project (RumaWIP KL) was successful, Ahmad Phesal replied: “I think the project was important and successful because it was the government’s policy at the time to sell affordable housing to people earning below RM3,000”.

The witness agreed with the counsel’s suggestion that Tengku Adnan was a minister who cared for needy city dwellers.

According to the charge, Tengku Adnan in his capacity as a civil servant, namely, federal territories minister, corruptly accepted RM2 million from businessman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong.

He allegedly received the money through a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to Aset Kayamas which was deposited into the CIMB account of Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd in which he had an interest in, and full knowledge of Aset Kayamas’ connections to his official duties.

Tengku Adnan is accused of committing the offence at CIMB Bank Bhd branch in Pusat Bandar Damansara on June 14, 2016, under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine or both, upon conviction.

Ahmad Phesal said land belonging to DBKL could not be sold without the consent of the federal territories minister.

He said under the Local Government Act 1976, local authorities has the power to sell, lease or dispose of any of their movable or immovable properties. But the Act also provides that there cannot be any sale or alienation of immovable property without the consent of the state authority.

“Under Section 2 of this Act, the interpretation of state authority is in relation to federal territory, meaning the minister responsible for the local government [at the time was Tengku Adnan],” he said.

Regarding DBKL land which was bought and developed by private developers, Ahmad Phesal said during his tenure as mayor, there were 10 plots of land that had been bought and developed by Chai of Aset Kayamas.

“This land was developed for the affordable housing in line with the ministry’s key performance indicator to complete 80,000 units of RumaWIP KL within five years before the 14th general election,” he said.

Ahmad Phesal, replying to deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Julia Ibrahim, said that apart from Aset Kayamas other companies have been used by Chai to purchase DBKL’s land for RumaWIP KL.

Aset Kayamas appealed for sale of lots 53427 and 53653 via a letter dated April 20, 2015 addressed to Tengku Adnan. “I then held further discussions with Tengku Adnan, the outcome of which was that I was directed by the minister to bring the DBKL land purchase matter to the One Stop Centre (OSC) meeting.

“At the preliminary discussion, we agreed that part of the 0.5 acres (0.20ha) of land should be allocated for the construction of a hostel,” he said.

Ahmad Phesal said prior to bringing the matter to the OSC meeting, he broached the subject at the DBKL Pandu Privatisation Projects meeting on April 27, 2015 which decided that there would be no objection to the sale of the two plots after all.

He said the matter was brought to the OSC special committee meeting chaired by Tengku Adnan on May 14, 2015, which later decided to approve the proposal for the development of affordable housing, freehold houses and DBKL hostel on both plots of land with some technical conditions to be met.

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