Former Malaysian minister admits accepting S$655,000 cheque, says it was for Umno use

Former Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the money he accepted from a businessman in 2016 was used for campaigning in two by-elections involving Umno. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - A former Malaysian Cabinet minister admitted on Friday (Jan 17) in his corruption trial that he received a RM2 million (S$655,000) cheque from a businessman in 2016, but that the money was used for campaigning in two by-elections involving Umno.

Former Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, 69, was reading out his witness statement in his trial for accepting the money from Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong, managing director of property developer Aset Kayamas, Bernama news agency reported.

The High Court in October ordered Tengku Adnan to enter his defence on the charge of accepting the bribe after finding that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against him.

Tengku Adnan, 69, who is secretary-general of opposition party Umno, said he did not need the RM2 million as he is a successful businessman.

"Speaking humbly, I do not need the RM2 million for myself. I have never intended to accept those funds for myself," he told the court, as reported by Malaysiakini news site. "Before I joined the cabinet in 2001, I was a successful businessman and had huge assets."

He said the money given by Mr Chai was used for campaign expenses for the Sungai Besar (Selangor) and Kuala Kangsar (Perak) by-elections on June 18,2016. This followed the death of two Umno MPs, Datuk Noriah Kasnon and Datuk Wan Mohamad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad, in a helicopter crash in Sebuyau, Sarawak, on May 5,2016.

"I do not remember the exact date I approached Tan Sri Chai for the said political donation but this could have taken place in early June 2016.

"I informed him that Wilayah Persekutuan (federal territories) Umno-Barisan Nasional needed funds of about RM5 million for these by-elections. At that time, Tan Sri Chai did not promise to donate any amount to those parties but stated that he would make a donation later," he said, as quoted by Bernama.

Tengku Adnan said in his 27-page testimony that Mr Chai has been contributing to Umno-BN since he was appointed Umno executive secretary in 1999.

Tengku Adnan said he was involved in successful businesses such as real estate, logging, manufacturing, trading, agriculture, hotel, livestock and food.

"One of the companies owned by me is Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd. This company is a family company which was founded in 1984," he said.

The Aset Kayamas' Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque was deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holdings in June 2016.

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