KUALA LUMPUR: A former education ministry senior official told the High Court in Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial that an executive from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd had tried to take over a RM1.25 billion solar project awarded to the company.
Madinah Mohamad, who was the ministry’s secretary-general from 2013 to 2016, said that she knew there was a misunderstanding between Jepak’s director Saidi Abang Samsudin and his business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah from Rayyan’s messages to her on Whatsapp.
“He claimed that Saidi had committed various wrongdoings in amending the terms in the solar project’s contract and made false claims.
“The reason he told me about the misunderstanding was because he wanted my help to take him to meet the prime minister so that he could ask to take over the project from Saidi,” she said.
Madinah said Rayyan told her that he would expose the involvement of the then prime minister and “ma’am” in the solar project if she refused to help him.
She had previously told the court that she was aware that Rosmah was referred to as “ma’am” as Rosmah’s former aide, Rizal Mansor, had used the term.
Madinah said she tried to help Rayyan by getting in touch with Iskandar Kaus, Najib Razak’s then principal private secretary, so that Rayyan could meet the prime minister.
Madinah also said that she had doubts about Jepak Holdings’ billion ringgit solar project because the project was considered as high risk, adding that claims that it would help the government to save money were not verified.
“As a civil servant that served under Datuk Seri Najib, I do not know why he ordered the project to be given to Jepak Holdings without much research done.
“He was very mindful with costs and the needs of a project,” she added.
The hearing continues before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.
Rosmah is facing three counts of corruption charges, for allegedly soliciting RM187.5 million from Saidi as an inducement to help the company secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Diesel for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, worth a total of RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations with the Education Ministry.
She was also accused of receiving bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Saidi between 2016 and 2017.