Monday, October 31, 2011

Valuer: Incomplete build reason for RM3.5m Khir mansion price

A general view of the entrance to Dr Khir’s mansion in Shah Alam.

Unfinished building construction was the reason why Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo’s mansion and land was valued at RM3.5 million, the former Selangor mentri besar’s corruption trial was told today.

Choy Yue Kwong, a valuer from Rahim & Co that had been appointed by HSBC to value the price of Dr Mohamad Khir’s palatial home, testified that even RM 5.5 million was too high a value to put on the mansion.

He said that there was no reason why anyone should “overpay [for] property,” especially a house that was not yet fully constructed.

Responding to a query from defence lawyer Datuk Jahabardeen Mohamed Yunoos, Choy said that anyone who saw Khir’s mansion at the time of purchase and still bought it any amount beyond RM5 million was “not a prudent buyer.”

“What I saw at sight was a house under construction...I valued the property as how it is, assuming that it was not completed,” said the defence witness, who testified that was the reason why the mansion was only valued at RM3.5 million and not more.

The prosecution has accused the former Selangor mentri besar of conspiring with the bank valuer to fix the price of his Section 7 house and land here at RM3.5 million.

Dr Mohamad Khir has, however, denied the allegation and repeatedly stressed that the value had been arrived at independently by Choy.

“If it is a building like that, it is impossible to compare the price to another building; this is not a complete building,” Choy said.

Dr Mohamad Khir is alleged to have obtained for himself and his wife two lots of land and a house at No. 8 and 10, Jalan Suasa 7/1L from Ditamas Sdn Bhd through its director Shamsuddin Hayroni.

The property was purchased at RM3.5 million although Ditamas had bought it for RM6.5 million on December 23, 2004.

The transaction was alleged to have been made when Dr Mohamad Khir knew that Shamsuddin had ties with his official duty as the Selangor mentri besar then.

Dr Mohamad Khir, the state assemblyman for Sungai Panjang, is alleged to have committed the offence at the official residence of the Selangor mentri besar at Jalan Permata 7/1, Section 7 here on May 29, 2007.

Defence lawyers have previously pointed out that Shamsuddin had purchased the properties through his company above the market value of RM4.3 million that was estimated by valuer Irhamy & Co back in 2005.

The trial resumes tomorrow morning with the prosecution cross-examining Choy.

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