KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 6, 2020: A former minister has testified that he was compelled to take an instruction from Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor seriously as she was the then prime minister’s wife who was seen to be a person of influence and authority.
Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, who held the education portfolio, also claimed that Rosmah herself had revealed her interest in a hybrid solar power to 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion.
According to Mahdzir, the incident happened one night in June 2016 after a breaking-of-fast meal at the prime minister’s official residence in Putrajaya.
When he met Rosmah before leaving, she more-or-less told him to “take a look at the Cikgu Aazmey’s solar project….. speed it up. The project was awarded to Jepak Holdings Sdn. Bhd.
Mahdzir claimed he could could only answer “yes, yes” as there were many people at that time.
Rosmah is charged with 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 between January 2016 and September 2017.
Mahdzir further told the court Jepak had written to Najib who forwarded the letter to the Ministry of Finance Government Procurement Division to speed up the approval process through direct negotiations.
He found out that Najib had given similar instructions to Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah, then the Treasury’s secretary-general.
In November 2016 Mahdzir was informed that the finance ministry had approved the education ministry’s application to negotiate directly with Jepak.
On Nov. 8 that year Mahdzir received instructions from Najib to issue the letter of award to Jepak.
He further claimed to have advised Najib to delay issuing the LOA as there were certain procedures Jepak and the education ministry had to comply with but Najib ignored his advice.
Hearing before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues on Monday.