KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Former Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid did not ask for reward when helping to secure the hybrid solar projects for 369 rural schools in Sarawak to Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd (Jepak Holdings), the High Court heard today.
Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin said this when refuting a suggestion by lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, representing Datin seri Rosmah Mansor, that Mahdzir had asked for 20 per cent of the project value in return for his help.
The testimony by Saidi, 61, contradicted the testimony by his business partner and 16th prosecution witness, Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah, who told the court that the former Education Minister had asked for 20 per cent from Jepak Holdings for the purpose.
Akberdin: For all the help and contributions by Mahdzir (to help secure the hybrid solar project), he had requested 20 per cent of the project value which is RM250 million from you.
Saidi: (Mahdzir) did not make any request, disagree.
Akberdin: After that you said it was too much, cannot give 20 per cent, and finally reduced to RM60 million, and an agreement was sealed between you and Mahdzir, with payment of RM1 million a month for five years (to Mahdzir).
Saidi: No, there was no such agreement.
Akberdin: From the 20 per cent, the amount was reduced to RM60 million and an agreement was prepared by Rayyan Radzwill, where you and Mahdzir’s proxy, by the name of Md Fuad Yasin, had signed the agreement.
Saidi: There was an agreement with Fuad, but not with Mahdzir.
Saidi, who is the 17th witness, was testifying in Rosmah’s trial case regarding the RM1.25 billion hybrid solar project involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
Rosmah, who is the wife of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Saidi.
The bribes were allegedly received through her former aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor, as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project, as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel gen-sets, for 369 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation.
The acts were allegedly committed at Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra here; Rosmah’s residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and Sept 2017.
Akberdin, who seemed dissatisfied with Saidi’s response, continued to ‘pressure’ the witness on Md Fuad’s relationship with Mahdzir, where the lawyer repeatedly suggested to Saidi that Md Fuad signed the agreement on Mahdzir’s behalf.
However, Saidi insisted that he did not about Md Fuad’s relation with Mahdzir, but admitted to offering RM60 million to Md Fuad after the latter promised to get a Letter of Acceptance for the solar hybrid project within a month.
Akberdin: What was Md Fuad’s background that made you believe that he could get the SST for a reward of RM60 million, that is a huge amount.
Saidi: I’m a politician, he is (Md Fuad) a politician, maybe he has got contacts I gave him a month to get the SST, but to whom he wanted to give the RM60 million I don’t know.
Akberdin: I put it to you, you are lying, you are not telling the truth, you are deliberately hiding the fact that Md Fuad is Mahdzir’s proxy because you and Mahdzir are close
Saidi: Not true.
Md Fuad, who is wanted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), is still at large.
Saidi, however, agreed with Akberdin that he paid RM40,000 for accommodation of Padang Terap Umno divisional delegates during the Umno general assembly in Kuala Lumpur in 2016.
Saidi was also asked on the role played by Pekan Umno division secretary Datuk Ahmad Aazmey Abu Talib in helping Jepak Holdings to secure the project, to which Saidi admitted to having agreed to give RM50 million to Ahmad Aazmey through an agreement which they signed on July 19, 2016.
Akberdin: You also gave Ahmad Aazmey about RM20,000 or RM30,000 a month since December 2016 until the solar hybrid project was awarded to Jepak Holdings.
Saidi: Yes, for Pekan Umno.
Akberdin: Do you agree that you have paid RM2 million to Ahmad Aazmey for his help.
Saidi: I did give him money, but can’t remember the amount.
The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow. — Bernama