Graft watchdog hoping to present FT minister with corruption findings on Taman Rimba Kiara

Ragananthini Vethasalam

C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel is hoping to presents findings on alleged corruption in the Taman Rimba Kiara project. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, May 19, 2019.

GRAFT watchdog Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) is looking to submit its findings on alleged corruption in the Taman Rimba Kiara redevelopment project to Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad, its executive director Cynthia Gabriel said.

She added C4’s findings have been submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), that yesterday said its investigation into the luxury condominium and affordable housing project has been reopened and is now in the final stage before submission to the public prosecutor.

MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Azam Baki had told The Malaysian Insight that its investigation had been completed but reopened after issues were raised, but did not mention C4.

“I hope to… see how it goes,” Cynthia told The Malaysian Insight when asked if she would present C4’s findings to Khalid.

Lawyer and activist Ambiga Sreenevasan with Cynthia are slated to meet Khalid over the Taman Rimba Kiara case tomorrow.

The campaign against the redevelopment of Taman Rimba Kiara, which would see blocks of luxury condominiums built over a park, had until of late been spearheaded by a group of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents under the Save Rimba Kiara banner since 2016, and after the general election last year, by Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh.

C4 became more involved in the campaign to save Taman Rimba Kiara after former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was hauled up in anti-graft investigations before he was charged with corruption last November.

He was charged for accepting RM3 million to help developers with their projects. The cases involved are not related to Taman Rimba Kiara.

“When Ku Nan (Tengku Adnan) was charged…then we got more involved,” said Cynthia.

The centre’s work was used by Yeoh in a town hall briefing on the case in TTDI yesterday.

On February 28, the group released a statement and infographic mapping out the links between the companies connected to the developer and Tengku Adnan, and the alleged conflict of interest in the case.

Cynthia said C4 is shocked to see trail of companies involved and how Tengku Adnan as the minister then, had been benefiting from the project.

“Our interests are corruption scandals and anti-corruption reform. We are following (Taman Rimba Kiara) in its entirety.

“We researched the trail of (the) companies involved and are shocked to find out how directly Ku Nan is benefiting from the project. We are advocates of open tender, and clean and transparent governance.”

The Taman Rimba Kiara land belongs to the ministry’s Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, which is a joint venture partner for the redevelopment with private company Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd.

Tengku Adnan, by virtue of his minister’s post, was the foundation’s chairman, as is Khalid now.

According to the joint venture agreement in 2014, Memang Perkasa would bear development costs while the foundation would receive a fixed sum of RM160 million.

C4 said it found that Tengku Adnan had a business associate named Rosmanira Junoh, who was the link between the ex-minister and Memang Perkasa.

Rosmanira was a director of Memang Perkasa between 2014 and 2016.

C4 also said Rosmanira had previously served as a director and shareholder of four other companies linked to Malton Bhd, which controls Memang Perkasa.

Cynthia added that C4 will be shedding light on “two to three” other questionable land deals soon.

There are now two proposals on Taman Rimba Kiara on the table.

A scaled-down version supported by Khalid will halve the number of high-rise condominium blocks from eight to four, and from 50 storeys to 45.

The revised plan would also see the project taking up 3.2ha instead of the original 4.9ha, with less of Taman Rimba Kiara affected.

Yeoh and the Save Rimba Kiara group, however, are against the revised scope entirely on grounds of elements of corruption and conflict of interest.

They want the condominium blocks scrapped and only the new affordable housing promised to former estate workers living in the Bukit Kiara longhouse to be built, within the longhouse footprint and without encroaching the park.

Yeoh and TTDI residents have also proposed that town houses be built on the site instead of a huge housing complex.

Khalid has left it to the Cabinet to decide between two proposals, despite calls for a moratorium on the project until it is clear if corruption was involved.

Yeoh has also called for the attorney-general to scrutinise the legal aspects of the deal pertaining to compensation if the project is scrapped. – May 19, 2019.

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