KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 18, 2020: A former top civil servant at the education ministry had the power to reject a proposal that was supported by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak but did not, saying she “could not just reject it”.
It was pointed out by a lawyer that the officer concerned, Tan Sri Dr. Madinah Mohamad, had complained a lot about Jepak Holdings Sdn. Bhd., the company awarded the hybrid solar system for rural Sarawak schools, yet was the one who strongly supported the proposal.
Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, is on trial for allegedly soliciting RM187.5 million and also receiving RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor to help Jepak Holdings obtain the project worth RM1.25 billion. She allegedly committed the offences between January 2016 and September 2017.
Madinah, who was the secretary-general from June 2013 to later in 2016, was of the opinion that the best way to ensure electricity supply for at least 12 hours to rural schools in Sarawak was by using generator sets, with solar technology to be used only for schools located not too far in the interior.
She agreed with lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader that the ministry should have rejected Jepak Holdings’ proposal as it contravened the Treasury’s circular and was a waste of public funds.
She further testified that she had received an instruction from former minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid to carry out Najib’s order and forwarded the proposal to the finance ministry as the decision had been finalised and that it was entirely for the latter to approve the project. Najib was then also the finance minister.
The trial before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow.