Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan claimed trial to two charges of corruption involving some RM6.9 million, said to be linked to the Jana Wibawa programme.
According to the first charge, Wan Saiful, 48, was accused of asking RM232 million from one Lian Tan Chuan as an incentive to help Nepturis Sdn Bhd obtain the Central Spine Road project from the government, somewhere in April 2022 at Royal Lake Club, Taman Tasik Perdana in Kuala Lumpur.
For the second charge, Wan Saiful allegedly received for himself a bribe of RM6,962,694.54 through a CIMB account belonging to his company, WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd from the Maybank account of Nepturis Sdn Bhd.
He was accused of committing the offence between July 8 to September 30 in 2022.
The charges were framed under Section 16a(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.
If convicted, Wan Saiful faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
It was reported that the MACC was given the go-ahead to charge Wan Saiful and businessman Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad, 42, late on Monday (Feb 20) evening.
After the go-ahead was given, Wan Saiful was summoned to the MACC, where he was held for the night to be brought to court on Tuesday.
Dressed in a suit, the Tasek Gelugor MP arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex at 8.50am this morning.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin offered bail between RM500,000 and RM1 million on grounds that the accused was charged with a serious offence.
However, he said that Wan Saiful was not a flight risk and had given his cooperation to the MACC during the investigation.
“I ask the court to impose additional conditions for bail purposes. The accused should surrender his passport to the court and report himself to the MACC office each month,” the prosecutor said.
Wan Saiful’s lawyer, Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, asked for a lower bail amount between RM200,000 and RM300,000.
“Both his bank accounts have been frozen by the MACC. His wife is unwell and undergoing chemotherapy. As such, money is required for this purpose,” Hisyam said.
Hisyam also requested for the court to allow his client to report himself at the MACC office once every two months instead of once a month.
Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi fixed bail at RM400,000 in one surety.
She also ordered Wan Saiful to surrender his passport to the court and allowed him to report himself to the MACC office bimonthly.
The case is fixed for mention on March 22.
Adam Radlan, who is also Segambut Bersatu division deputy chief, was charged in a separate court.
He also claimed trial to two charges under Section 16(a) of the MACC Act before Sessions Court Judge Suzana Hussin.
In the first charge, Adam Radlan was accused of soliciting between 3.5 percent and 7 percent of a project value from one Mat Jusoh Mamat, said to be the director or MIE Infrastructure & Energy Sdn Bhd, for the government’s Jana Wibawa programme.
He allegedly committed the offence in March 2021 at a restaurant in Dutamas in Kuala Lumpur.
In the second charge, Adam Radlan was accused of receiving RM500,000 into his CIMB Bank account at the Bukit Tunku branch on November 26, 2021, from Mat Jusoh for obtaining a government approval letter for MIE Infrastructure & Energy to build a road in Perlis in a project valued at RM47.8 million.
Justice Suzana set Adam Radlan’s bail at RM120,000 with two sureties. He was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court before March 23.
It is learnt that investigators had summoned Wan Saiful several times in connection with the Jana Wibawa programme.
Adam Radlan was remanded in January to help in the probe.
Meanwhile, former prime minister and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has decried charges slapped against Wan Saiful, claiming the latter had become a victim of selective prosecution.
Muhyiddin said Wan Saiful, who is Bersatu’s information chief, had done nothing wrong.
He said the charges filed against Wan Saiful showed Bersatu had also become a victim of selective prosecution.
“Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) also received funds from their supporters, but their leaders were not charged in court.
“We actually expected that this would be done by the PH-BN government to weaken Bersatu after seeing growing support for Perikatan Nasional (PN),” Muhyiddin, who is PN chairman, said.
Muhyiddin was speaking to reporters outside the Session Court here after lending support to Wan Saiful. Also present was Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin and other party leaders.
MACC had initiated an investigation on Jana Wibawa and had summoned several individuals, including Muhyiddin.
The Jana Ekonomi Pemerkasaan Kontraktor Bumiputra Berwibawa or Economic Recovery of Authorised Bumiputra Contractors (Jana Wibawa) was set up in November 2020 to empower bumiputra contractors struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the scheme, bumiputra contractors rated with three to five stars, were given contracts through direct negotiation. The contractors were to have been approved by the Finance Ministry.
Muhyiddin had his statement recorded this week over the same investigation.
On Wednesday (Feb 15), Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that rural development projects worth RM5.7 billion under Jana Wibawa had been halted temporarily. This, he said, was only until the procurement and expenditure procedures set by the Treasury were followed.
Ahmad Zahid said the Finance Ministry, headed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, wanted to check if the projects were awarded according to government requirements.
Outside the courtroom, Wan Saiful told reporters he was grateful to have lawyers Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik and Takiyuddin Hassan who is also PAS MP for Kota Baru on his defence team.
Wan Saiful paid his bail and left the court at around 2.26pm.
Adam Radlan’s lead counsel Datuk Seri Rajan Navaratnam said that his client paid his bail around 2.57pm.
It was later reported that Adam Radlan will face two more charges of corruption.
It is learnt that he will be charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court at 9am on Wednesday (Feb 22).
It is also learnt that another businessman will be charged at the Johor Baru Sessions Court on Wednesday.