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Rosmah case: Officer advised against project but Najib approved it

Othman advised and recommended against approving the solar hybrid project.

TheMole
Written by TheMole

KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 20, 2020: An officer with the finance ministry had advised and recommended that an application for a hybrid solar project for Sarawak schools be rejected but Datuk Seri Najib Razak approved it in his capacity as finance minister.

One reason for the recommendation was that some schools included in the hybrid solar project were due to receive electricity through the grid system anyway.

Another was that there was never any complaint from the education ministry on the diesel generator set system in use at that time.

Datuk Othman Semail, now a deputy secretary-general of treasury (Management) at the finance ministry, testified that the education ministry also did not have the budget for the project which was awarded to Jepak Holdings Sdn. Bhd. through direct negotiations.

“The education ministry had management budget for operations and maintenance of the diesel system only. The system was implemented since a long time in Sarawak.

“What will happen to the diesel genset, with the implementation of the solar system was not stated as the gensets are government assets… Also why was the project given to Jepak only?” posed Othman.

Othman was a prosecution witness in the trial of Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor for soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving a bribe of RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor as gratification for helping the company  to secure the project worth RM1.25 billion. She allegedly committed the offences between January 2016 and September 2017.

Hearing before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues on March 9.

Hearing before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues on March 9.

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