Malaysian developer denies dealing with Jared Kushner over Vancouver Trump tower negotiations

Mr Tiah Joo Kim and his company have denied dealing with Jared Kushner in business negotiations over the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver.
Mr Tiah Joo Kim and his company have denied dealing with Jared Kushner in business negotiations over the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver.PHOTO: THE STAR PUBLICATION

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - One of Malaysia's richest scions, Mr Tiah Joo Kim, and his family-owned property development company TA Global Berhad have denied dealing with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, in business negotiations over the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver.

"Neither TA Global Berhad nor Tiah has any interaction or business dealings with Jared whatsoever," TA Global Berhad said in a statement on Tuesday (March 6).

However, it said TA Global Berhad and its chief executive officer Tiah dealt with the president's son Donald Trump Jr and Mr Trump's daughter, Ivanka, who represented the Trump Organization. Ms Ivanka is married to Mr Kushner.

"Ivanka Trump's involvement was specifically on interior design and Ivanka's interior design was utilised towards the development of Trump tower," it added.

TA Global said the company and Tiah have not been contacted by the United State's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in regards to investigations into their business dealings with Ms Ivanka and Mr Kushner.

It said their business relationship with the Trump Organisation extend only to brand licensing and hotel management for the development of Trump tower.

It added that the Trump tower was funded and jointly developed by TA Global Berhad and its Canadian-based counterpart Holborn Group.

"The brand licensing and hotel management agreements between Trump Organisation, Holborn Group and TA Global Berhad for the Trump tower were entered into in March 2013 prior to President Trump's announcement to run in the 2016 US election," it said.

Last Friday (March 2), CNN reported that the FBI was scrutinising the business dealings between Ms Ivanka and Mr Tiah over the negotiations and financing surrounding the 63-storey Trump tower.

The US$360mil (S$476 million) Trump tower was developed by 37-year-old Tiah, the son of tycoon Datuk Tony Tiah Thee Kian.

During negotiations, Mr Tiah reportedly bonded with Mr Kushner but negotiated directly with Ms Ivanka over details of its development.

The FBI's scrutiny into Tiah's development comes as its special counsel Robert Mueller investigates allegations that Mr Kushner conspired in the Russian tampering of the 2016 United States presidential election that led to Donald Trump's win.

Ms Ivanka is also the special adviser to President Trump while Mr Kushner is his senior adviser.

CNN said it is standard procedure for the FBI to probe foreign contacts and international business deals as part of a background check investigation for security clearances.