Solar hybrid projects: Company director remanded another 3 days

One of the individuals detained by MACC to facilitate investigations into the case. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The director of a Bintulu-based company had his remand period extended for another three days today to facilitate investigations into alleged misappropriation in the award of contracts for solar hybrid projects at 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Magistrate Shah Wira Abdul Halim extended the remand period of the 39-year-old man from tomorrow until July 6 to enable the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to conduct investigations.

The man was arrested at the Putrajaya MACC headquarters at about 7.45pm on July 28, where he had gone to give his statement. He was initially remanded for five days from June 29 until today.

The case is being investigated under Section 6(a)(A) of the MACC Act 2009.

To date, three individuals have been detained by the MACC to facilitate investigations into the case.

On June 27, the managing director of the company and its lawyer were remanded for six days to assist investigations into the case. Their remand period, which expired yesterday, was extended until this Saturday.

In early June, an online portal reported the possibility of misappropriation in the award of contracts for the solar hybrid projects, worth RM2.5 billion. The contracts were allegedly awarded directly under the directive of a former Malaysia leader.

The leader had allegedly instructed the education ministry in January last year to appoint a car rental company in Bintulu to undertake the project of installing solar panels at 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

On June 11, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said the ministry had begun conducting an internal investigation to identify individuals involved in the misappropriation of contract awards for the supply of solar energy and diesel to 369 schools in Sarawak.

These schools are without fixed electricity supply and use only diesel generators for power.

Prior to 2017, diesel was supplied to schools by contractors on a contract basis.

From Jan 1, 2017, Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd, which was originally one of the contractors involved, was granted the contract to supply electricity to all 369 schools for a period of three years until Dec 31, 2019 with a contract value of “over RM1 billion” inclusive of the goods and services tax.

Apart from supplying diesel to the rural schools in Sarawak, the company was also involved in the installation of solar hybrid systems and maintenance of generators in the 369 schools.

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