Eight-Hour MACC Grilling for Mahdzir

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Former Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid was questioned for more than eight hours by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today.

A source said Mahdzir, who is also Padang Terap member of parliament and Umno vice-president, was questioned over a corruption scandal involving a solar panel hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.

The source said Mahdzir arrived at MACC’s headquarters at 10am in a white Mercedes-Benz and was seen leaving at about 6.15pm.

Shafwan Zaidon

“At this time, there is no information on whether he will be charged tomorrow,” the source told the New Straits Times when contacted today (Nov 29).

Earlier, Pemantau Malaysia Baharu president Datuk Lokman Adam cancelled a planned gathering in front of the MACC building after Mahdzir was allowed to go home.

It was reported that a former minister was expected to be detained by the MACC and would be charged at the Kuala Lumpur sessions court tomorrow on the Sarawak school scandal.

The former minister is alleged to have solicited and received millions of ringgit as part of the RM1.25 billion contract for the Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and the maintenance and operation of Genset/Diesel for schools in Sarawak, which were secured via direct negotiation with the Education Ministry.

The allegations of solicitation and receipt of kickbacks are being investigated under Section 16(a)(A) of the MACC Act, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the bribe for each charge, if found guilty.

Others were also expected to be charged for allegedly soliciting kickbacks from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

On Nov 15, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was charged with two counts of soliciting RM187.5 million and receiving RM1.5 million for the project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

On the first count, Rosmah was alleged to have solicited RM187.5 million, which is 15 per cent of the value of the contract, from Saidi.

The amount was allegedly solicited by Rosmah as an inducement to help the company secure a tender through direct negotiation with the Education Ministry

On the second charge, Rosmah is alleged to have received RM1.5 million from the same person to obtain the same project at No 11, Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta, here on Sept 7, last year.

Both charges, framed under Section 16 (a) (A) of the MACC Act 2009, carry a jail term of up to 20 years, with a fine of up to five times the value of the graft, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction. – NST