KUALA LUMPUR: A witness revealed that there were no particulars for the issuance of a RM2 million cheque to Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd, a company owned by the family of former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
Financial controller Lai Vui Kiong said he was instructed by his boss, Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong, to make the RM2 million payment to the company without referring to any supporting documents.
He said, however, he did not know what the payment was for.
Lai, who worked at Sinerjuta Sdn Bhd from 2013 to 2016, said the payment was made via a payment voucher dated June 14, 2015, from property developer Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, a company also owned by Chai.
The 59-year-old also testified that he was not sure whether Tadmansori Holdings had any business relationships with Aset Kayamas.
“I was instructed by Chai to check Aset Kayamas’ Hong Leong bank account and found that the account balance was sufficient to make the payment. I then handed over the payment voucher to Chai for his approval,” he said.
Lai said he had known Chai since 1997 and was employed by the latter as the financial controller in 2013 when the latter had just started to venture in property development to build affordable houses in the city centre.
He said besides Sinerjuta, Chai had also founded companies Faber Vista Sdn Bhd, Aset Kayamas and Era Ecoland.
Lai was testifying in Tengku Adnan’s bribery trial which was in its sixth day.
Questioned by the accused’s counsel, Datuk Tan Hock Chuan, on why there were no details on the payment voucher, Lai said no supporting details were provided to him and that he did not ask Chai about it.
Tan: When you received the instructions from Chai, did you ask him the purpose of the payment?
Tan: Although there were no particulars in the payment voucher which you verified, you did not ask him (Chai) what was the purpose?
Tan: So what did you verify?
Lai: I verified the amount.
Tan: Do you agree that verification of the voucher must include verification of the particulars of the payment?
Lai: Normally, it should be.
Lai, who was the 16th prosecution witness, also said that he did not know whether the RM2 million was a political donation made by Chai.
He also agreed to Tan's suggestion that when the cheque to Tadmansori was issued, there was insufficient balance in Aset Kayamas’ bank account.
He then explained during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Mohammad Firdaous Mohamed Idris that normally in these situations, the company would transfer the money from another account to cover the payment.
“If there is insufficient funds in the account, the company will have to transfer money from some other account to cover it,” he said.
When asked by Tan whether the payment voucher which was made without any particulars was an exception, Lai answered in the affirmative.
The trial before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues on July 16.
Tengku Adnan is facing a charge of accepting RM2 million from Chai via a cheque belonging to Aset Kayamas which was deposited into a bank account belonging to Tadmansori Holding Sdn Bhd, a company in which the accused held interest.
He was alleged to have committed the offence in his capacity as a public servant, which is the federal territories minister at that time, at CIMB Bank Bhd, Pusat Bandar Damansara branch, level 1, Lot A4, Block A, Pusat Bandar Damansara, on June 14, 2016.
Aset Kayamas, which was established by Chai in 2011, had affordable housing projects across the Klang Valley in collaboration with the government under the Perumahan Penjawat Awam 1Malaysia (PPA1M) and RUMAWIP schemes.