KL Tower probe: Company director claims trial to offering RM7.5mil bribe to ex-minister

A COMPANY director has claimed trial at the Session Court to the charge of offering bribes amounting to RM7.5 mil as inducement for a minister to expedite a proposed sale of shares and a concession takeover from Menara Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd (MKLSB).

Hydroshoppe managing director Datuk Abdul Hamid Shaikh Abdul Razak Shaikh whose company had taken over the concession was charged with offering RM500,000 a year for 15 years to former communications and multimedia minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa through MyCreative Ventures director Datuk Tan Ser Lay.

Abdul Hamid pleaded not guilty when charges were read out to him.

He is charged under Section 16(b)(B) and 24(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

If found guilty, he faces an imprisonment term of up to twenty years, a fine of not less than five times the sum of the gratification given, or a maximum fine of RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Abdul Hamid is said to have offered bribes to Annuar to expedite the approvals for his company to expedite the acquisition process of the iconic Kuala Lumpur landmark.

The charges were read in front of Judge Suzana Husin who then set bail at RM50,000 and asked Abdul Hamid to report himself to the MACC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur once every two months beginning in May this year until the trial is over.

He was also told to surrender his passport to the court.

Previously MACC said two individuals, aged 49 and 59, including a managing director who acted as a middleman to handle kickbacks in the deal, were arrested at the MACC headquarters after giving their statements.

MACC was investigating the possibility that the selection of the company concerned involved a request for bribes amounting to hundreds of thousands of ringgit and a luxury watch as a gift to the “superior” to facilitate the take-over.

Prior to this, MACC had been investigating allegations over the suspicious sale of shares and take-over of the KL Tower operations and maintenance concession from MKLSB, a company wholly owned by Telekom Malaysia (TM) Bhd to Hydroshoppe.

MACC said it would be investigating if there were elements of corruption involved in the sale of public-listed firm TM’s shares in October from its subsidiary which manages Menara KL Sdn Bhd (MKLSB) to Hydroshoppe.

The transfer of MKLSB’s 10 million shares was recorded to have taken place on Oct 31 last year during Annuar’s tenure as communications and multimedia minister.

In December, Annuar, who was the communications and multimedia minister from August 2021 to November 2022, denied having anything to do with TM’s transferring of shares in October from its subsidiary MKLSC which manages Menara KL to Hydroshoppe.

He said TM as a public firm does not require permission from the minister for share transfers. – April 5, 2023


Main pic credit: Eugene Production on Unsplash

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