Former Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid and Pekan Umno secretary Aazmey Abu Talib demanded RM60 million each as their cut from solar hybrid project.
A key prosecution witness in Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial today revealed how former Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Pekan Umno secretary Datuk Aazmey Abu Talib had demanded up to RM60 million each as their cut from a solar hybrid project for schools in Sarawak.
The 41-year old claimed he was also threatened with death by his former business partner and Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin, after he complained about having to pay all the bribes.
Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah, who is the 16th prosecution witness in the case, did not hold back when he was cross-examined by Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kadir.
He immediately implicated Aazmey when the Pekan Umno secretary’s name was brought up by the defence lawyer.
Rayyan agreed with Akberdin that Aazmey had played a big role in helping Jepak Holdings secure the solar hybrid project.
He also admitted that Jepak Holdings had entered into an agreement with Aazmey to pay him about four or five percent of the project value and this gratification amounted to about RM50 million to RM60 million.
He said Saidi eventually paid Aazmey a total of RM2 million in a number of payments which were carried out at various places like the Sri Pan Pacific Hotel coffee house during an Umno convention, Sunway Putra Mall and some other hotels.
“Saidi also consistently paid Aazmey between RM20,000 to RM30,000 per month from 2016.
“This was as gratitude for services rendered to help Jepak Holdings get the project,” Rayyan said, adding he himself had banked in about RM70,000 into Azmey’s personal bank account before Saidi repaid the money to him.
Akberdin: So, Saidi eventually ended up paying about RM2 million to Datuk Aazmey?
Rayyan: Yes, true
Akberdin: You helped draft the agreement for this four or five percent payment from the total cost of the project which Aazmey had demanded?
Akberdin: Do you know that Aazmey was also detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)?
Rayyan: Yes, I saw him being remanded.
Akberdin: Do you know the MACC was planning to charge him with 20 offences?
Rayyan: I have no knowledge of that.
After completing with Aazmey’s role in helping Jepak Holding secure the project, Akberdin moved on to question Rayyan about Mahdzir.
The senior lawyer asked Rayyan whether he knew that Mahdzir had demanded 20 percent of the RM1.25 billion total project value for Jepak Holdings to supply hybrid solar energy to 369 schools in Sarawak.
Akberdin: He asked for 20 percent of RM1.25 billion which comes up to RM250 million but eventually settled for RM60 million to be paid in instalments of RM1 million per month for five years?
Rayyan: Yes, true.
Akberdin: He also entered into an agreement with Jepak Holdings to get this kickback, but it was done through a proxy by the name of Md Fuad Yasin?
Akberdin: Do you know that Md Fuad Yasin is now missing and that MACC is looking for him?
Rayyan: I read about it.
Akberdin: Did you also prepare the agreement which Fuad signed?
Akberdin later applied for the prosecution to provide the agreements which Aazmey and Fuad had signed to get kickbacks from Jepak Holdings.
Rayyan said the MACC had also questioned him about the money which Mahdzir had demanded and he had told them all about it.
Akberdin: Do you know Saidi once gave RM40,000 to Mahdzir to sponsor Umno delegates from his division to attend the party convention in Kuala Lumpur?
Rayyan: Yes, he told me it was RM50,000 to ‘belanja budak-budak kawasan dia’ (treat delegates from his constituency)
Akberdin: This money was paid when Jepak Holdings project was progressing.
Akberdin: Do you know MACC previously announced that Mahdzir was also going to be charged in connection with this case?
Rayyan: Yes, I read about it.
It was previously reported that Mahdzir had denied asking for the gratification when he was called to the stand in February as another of the prosecution witness.
Mahdzir, who is Umno vice president, also refuted allegations that he was originally supposed to be charged with soliciting bribes in connection with the project when he was grilled by Rosmah’s lawyers.
Meanwhile, Rayyan later related to the court how he felt disgusted when Jepak Holdings did not fulfil its end of the bargain to supply solar energy to the schools in Sarawak.
He said the company falsified terms of the contract to reduce the amount of solar energy it was supposed to provide.
Rayyan said the proper usage of diesel to solar power was 30 percent diesel to 70 percent solar power which was written in the contracts.
The falsification of the documents changed the diesel figures to around 40 to 50 percent which Rayyan said was bad for the government as they would now have to fork out more money for diesel usage.
Rayyan said he was not happy with these changes and wanted Saidi to change them back.
“But he threatened me with his lawyers instead,” Rayyan said.
When the Ministry of Education (MoE) heard about the falsification of the documents they sent two show-cause letters to Jepak Holdings, one in September 2017 and the other in January 2018. Jepak did not respond to both letters.
Following that, Rayyan said the legal affairs department at MoE was told to make a police report on the matter. They left it to the secretary-general of MoE Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad to take action but Rayyan said Alias did nothing.
During cross-examination by Akberdin, Rayyan said the minister of MoE at the time also did not entertain notions of a police report.
Akberdin: So, MoE did not want to lodge a police report?
Rayyan: Yes, even the minister.
Akberdin: So Mahdzir Khalid and Alias made the decision not to make a police report?
Rayyan: Yes, correct.
Akberdin: You felt disappointed with MoE for not taking action?
Rayyan: Yes. I pleaded with them. So, I then decided to go to the public complaints department and meet its chief Datuk Harjeet Singh with all the documents in hand to pass them to him myself. He then handed me to Datuk Seri Azam Baki at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Rayyan said he wanted to distance himself from the company when he found out so many wrongdoings were happening.
He told the Court he was never happy with the number of politicians whom his partner was giving out money to for helping them land the project. He said such sums should go to poor people.
Rayyan received RM1 million from Saidi for helping him with the project, but there was also a verbal agreement for an additional RM10 million if the project went through.
Rayyan never received the RM10 million but did get the RM1 million.
He said no works were being done for the schools and he was receiving a lot of calls from contractors and schoolteachers and people in the area who do not have 24-hour electricity.
“When he (Saidi) was giving money to people I always scolded him. I asked him is this how things work? That’s why most of the time when money was handed over, he won’t tell me about it,” said Rayyan.
“When I asked him about the project and voiced my unhappiness he said: ‘You’ve got your money so keep quiet.’
“There was a lot of fraud happening with the contractors as well and so I decided to distance myself from Jepak. Saidi threatened to not pay me my commission and did so through his lawyers.
“The rest of the officers who were involved also did nothing about the matter and at one point I received death threats as well. I have the recordings of it,” he added.
Rayyan said Saidi told him if he pulled back his complaint, he would give him the RM10 million, but he was told to apologise as well.
“I decided not to withdraw the complaint and I told him he can keep the money. He even raised it to RM20 million-RM30 million but I refused to give in.
“I said I want to resolve this problem and then decided to report the matter to the authorities,” said Rayyan.
Rosmah is on trial for soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak Holdings to help the company secure the solar hybrid project.
She is also accused of receiving RM5 million and another RM1.5 million in 2016 and 2017 respectively to ensure the company got the contract.
The bribe was received through her then-aide Datuk Rizal Mansor.
The offence was allegedly committed at the Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra, her residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Presint 10, Putrajaya, between January 2016 and Sept 7, 2017.
The trial before High Court Judge Mohamad Zaini Mazlan continues.
Jul 15. Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day 17
Jul 14, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day 16
Jul 13, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day 15
Mar 12, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day 14
Mar 11, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day 13
Mar 10, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day 12
Mar 9, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day 11
Feb 20, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Ten
Feb 19, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Nine
Feb 18, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Eight
Feb 17, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Seven
Feb 13, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Six
Feb 12, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Five
Feb 10, Rosmah’s Bribe Trial: Day Three
Feb 5, RM6M Bribe in RM100 Bills