Thursday 9 June 2011

Former Selangor MB Khir Toyo paid RM6.5m in cash to renovate mansion

Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo spent roughly RM6.5 million to renovate his mansion from its original Italian tropical design to the current Bali concept, the landscaper engaged to do the job, Nasir Ismail, revealed in court today.

The amount, he testified on the third day of Khir's corruption trial in the Shah Alam High Court, was stretched out in roughly 13 cash payments between 2006 and 2008.

Nasir said he collected the payments, amounting to RM500,000 in cash each time, about five times from Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Hayroni and around eight times from Khir, who was MB at the time, at his official residence.
He explained that in the beginning he picked up the progress payments from Shamsuddin whom Mohd Khir had appointed as his agent to handle all matters with regards to the renovation, for as he told Nasir, “he had no time to handle it himself”.

Later on Mohd Khir would call him to come to his official residence to collect the payment.

This came after a three-hour meeting at the site of the bungalow in March 2006 between Nasir, a former client, Karim Mansor, Shamsuddin as well as Mohd Khir and his wife Zaharah Kechik.
'Khir wanted similar Balinese concept'

Karim, whose garden Nasir previously renovated using the Balinese concept, introduced him to Mohd Khir who wanted a similar concept for his mansion.

Nasir was then paid an advance of RM250,000 which he used to procure supplies from Bali.

Interestingly, he was engaged to renovate the former MB's mansion in 2006 when the property still belonged to Ditamas.

Mohd Khir only bought over the mansion in 2007 for RM3.5 million from Ditamas.

However, Nasir said that for all intends and purposes, he believed that Mohd Khir was the owner as the politician and his wife did most of the talking and gave him his instructions when he was engaged to do the job.

It was only later that he found out that Ditamas was the landlord when he saw the plans for the renovation with the company listed as owner.

The landscape artist was then cross-examined by lead defence counsel M Athimulan, who prodded the witness on his status as a bankrupt and having to deal with that amount of cash, as well as the details of the payments.
The cross-examination almost led to a shouting match, as Nasir riled the lawyer with snide comments as the lawyer tried to grill him.

Judge Mohtarudin Baki decided to break early for lunch to calm things down.

Nasir will continue his testimony in the afternoon. He is the third prosecution witness to take the stand thus far.
Shamsuddin appeared as the second witness for the prosecution yesterday, though his testimony was cut short as he became agitated and nervous, unable to give coherent replies to questions being posed by lead prosecuter DPP Abdul Wahab Mohamed (left).

This had led to High Court Judge Mohtarudin Baki to postpone the trial to allow him to recuperate. Shamsuddin was supposed to again take the stand today, but Abdul Wahab informed the court that he has been taken ill and will have to further delay his testimony.

Shamsuddin's testimony came after that of Syarikat Permodalan Kebangsaan Berhad CEO Saiful Aznir shahabudin, the owner of the properties involved in the corruption trial prior to it being sold to Shamsuddin and subsequently to Mohd Khir.

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