Jepak Holdings gave 10% of solar hybrid project as political contribution to Najib through Rosmah, court told

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE High Court was told today that former Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin (picture) had intended to make a political contribution to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as a token of appreciation following the company’s success in securing the solar hybrid project in Sarawak from the Education Ministry.

Since Najib, who was then prime minister, was a busy man, Saidi, who is the 17th prosecution witness, said he decided to give the donation through the wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and the matter was conveyed to Rosmah’s aide then, Datuk Rizal Mansor.

Saidi, 61, was testifying in Rosmah’s trial case regarding the RM1.25 billion hybrid solar project involving 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

He agreed with lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, representing Rosmah, that the political contribution was given for Barisan Nasional (BN) and UMNO’s political stability.

Akberdin: As a token of appreciation for the minute by the (then) prime minister on Dec 1, 2015 approving the solar project, you want to make contribution for the political stability of BN and UMNO?

Saidi: Yes.

Akberdin: After expressing the intention to Rizal, you asked him to arrange a meeting with Rosmah?

Saidi: Yes

Akberdin: After and before going to the prime minister’s residence, you discussed with Rizal and mentioned your intention to give 10 per cent of the value of the project as political contribution?

Saidi: Yes

Rosmah is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from  Saidi.

The bribes were allegedly received through her former aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor, as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project, as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel gen-sets, for 369 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation.

The acts were allegedly committed at Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra here; Rosmah’s residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and Sept 2017.

Najib was UMNO president and the BN chairman then, and held the posts until after the 14th General Election in 2018 when Pakatan Harapan took over the federal government’s leadership.

Meanwhile, Saidi, who confirmed having resigned as managing director of Jepak Holdings and sold his shares in the company, was also asked by Akberdin about Rosmah’s reaction after he expressed his intention to make the political contribution at Rosmah’s residence in Jalan Langgak Duta here, between January and February 2016.

Akberdin: After you made the offer, Rosmah did not respond, she just kept quiet?

Saidi: She only said “hemm”.

Akberdin: Rosmah also did not bargain, (like) for the 10 per cent to be increased to 15 per cent?

Saidi: Correct.

Akberdin: Prior to this, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram asked you whether, after you offered to give the 10 per cent political contribution, Rosmah rejected and told you to leave, and you said she did not. Do you agree that Rosmah also did not say “accept”.

Saidi: She kept quiet.

In his testimony previously,  Saidi, when reading out his witness statement, said he had handed over RM6.5 million as promised to Rosmah for political contributions

The hearing before judge Hakim Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow.