KUALA LUMPUR (April 5): Abdul Hamid Shaikh Abdul Razak Shaikh was charged at the Sessions Court here on Wednesday (April 5) for offering RM500,000 a year for 15 years for the benefit of then communications and multimedia minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa in exchange for expediting Abdul Hamid’s company's take over of the KL Tower concession.
Abdul Hamid, director of Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd, claimed trial to one charge of bribery under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 for offering the bribe.
According to the charges read out to him, in and around July and August 2022, Abdul Hamid had offered a bribe of RM500,000 for 15 years for the benefit of Annuar via one Datuk Tan Ser Lay.
It went on to say that this bribe was offered to expedite Hydroshoppe’s takeover process of the management and concessions of Menara Kuala Lumpur.
Abdul Hamid was charged under Section 16(b)(B) of the MACC Act, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act.
He pleaded not guilty and was slapped with RM50,000 bail and one surety. He was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court.
If found guilty, Abdul Hamid faces a jail term of up to 20 years, a fine of not less than five times the sum of the gratification given, or a maximum fine of RM10,000, whichever is higher.
Judge Suzana Hussain then set June 2 for case mention.
Abdul Hamid was represented by Shu Ivy from Chetan Jethwani & Co while deputy public prosecutor Mahadi Abdun Jumaat appeared for the prosecution.
Separately, at another Sessions Court before judge Rozina Ayob, Hydroshoppe was charged with the same offence as a commercial organisation.
Abdul Hamid also pleaded not guilty and claimed trial on behalf of the company.
Rozina then set bail at RM50,000 with one surety.
The company was charged under Section 17A of the MACC Act, which came into effect on June 1, 2020. With the introduction of the amendment, MACC is now able to directly impose corporate liability on commercial organisations, including public and private limited companies whose employees or associated persons are involved in corrupt practices or dishonest commercial misconduct.
In December last year, MACC said it was investigating the alleged suspicious disposal of ownership of the company that owns the concession to manage the Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower).
"MACC will investigate whether there was existence of bribery element in the 100% shares disposal by Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) in Syarikat Menara KL Sdn Bhd to Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd in October 2022," said the anti-graft agency in a statement on Dec 29.
After that, MACC said it had arrested two individuals, aged 49 and 59, including a managing director who acted as a middleman to handle kickbacks in the deal.
MACC had suspected that the selection of the company concerned involved a request for bribe money amounting to hundreds of thousands of ringgit and a luxury watch as a gift to the ‘superior’ to facilitate the takeover.
MACC said it would be investigating if there were elements of corruption involved in the sale of public-listed firm TM's shares in October from its subsidiary which manages Menara KL Sdn Bhd (MKLSB) to Hydroshoppe.
In December, Annuar denied having anything to do with public-listed firm TM’s transfer of shares in October from its subsidiary MKLSB, which manages Menara KL, to Hydroshoppe.
Annuar, who was communications and multimedia minister from August 2021 to November 2022, said TM as a public firm does not require permission from the minister for share transfers.