KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor today told the court how he, as a successful businessman and one who was financially sound, did not need the RM2 million bribe he was accused of receiving in 2016.
Taking the stand as the first defence witness in his trial, Tengku Adnan stood by his initial narrative that the RM2 million deposited into Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd’s account, a company he had an interest in as a federal minister, was a political donation meant for his party Umno and not for his personal gain.
The former Federal Territories minister, reading from his witness statement, noted how he was made by the then sitting prime minister to declare his assets, times he was made member of Cabinet and the Senate, explaining that producing such evidence in court was not to boast of him being affluent but to quash doubts that an RM2 million bribe would entice him.
“With humility, I wish to state that I do not need the RM2 million money for myself. Before I joined the Cabinet in 2001 upon the request of the then Prime Minister, I was a successful businessman.
“I was involved in various businesses namely real estate, logging, manufacturing, trading, agricultural, hotel, livestock and food businesses.
“The only reason I referred to the above mentioned Declaration of Assets to the prime minister is not to boast but to state that I am very comfortable financially and absolutely had no intention to receive the RM2 million political donation money for my own use,” he testified.
He claimed that after his first appointment into the Cabinet in 2001, the total value of his assets has since decreased, suffering from the lack of attention.
This as Tengku Adnan was called to enter his defence over the alleged RM2 million bribe, said to have been received via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque from businessman Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong in June 2016.
The cheque is said to have been issued by Chai’s company, developers Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, and was deposited into the CIMB Bank account of Tadmansori Holdings.
In October last year, judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said the prosecution successfully proved prima facie against Tengku Adnan, then ordering the defence.
The current Umno treasurer today also accused unnamed parties of trying to orchestrate his downfall, by tarnishing his name within the business circle, even going as far as labelling the criminal charges levelled against him as politically motivated aimed at destroying Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).
“Even today, they are tarnishing me so that in the business circle I will look bad. Today, I am sad to see what is happening to me.
“Irrelevant charges framed against me because I hold high party position and their thoughts are that I am the funder of Umno/Barisan Nasional.
“So, to kill me is to kill Umno/Barisan Nasional. These are the thoughts of the political party which are against Umno/Barisan Nasional,” he said when reading out his 113-point statement.
Tengku Adnan maintained the money he received from Chai was to reimburse an advance of his personal funds that he gave Umno to cover costs for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Bangsar by-elections in 2016.
“I had earmarked that the donation from Tan Sri Datuk Chai Kin Kong to be used for this purpose and had used my own money in advance,” he said.
Tengku Adnan included within his testimony how he was always forthcoming with his personal funds when it came to financing Umno or BN, then claiming how Umno’s Youth wing still owes him some RM17 million without elaborating.
He also touched on the issue of governance, going through official letters from his ministry to the Kuala Lumpur City Council in court to show how decisions were made independently by the council with some decisions going against his recommendations as the former minister of the Federal Territories.
The trial resumes Monday.