Why Bersatu panicked after Wan Saiful charged for corruption

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There are dozens of contractors willing to talk as prosecution witnesses in order to escape prosecution.

When Wan Saiful Wan Jan was charged for receiving RM6.96 million (RM6,962,694.54 to be precise) kickbacks from Nepturis Sdn Bhd in exchange for a lucrative road project – Central Spine Road worth a staggering RM232 million – it raised eyebrows. The information chief of Bersatu or Malaysian United Indigenous Party was actually slapped with two charges.

First, he was charged with soliciting bribes from Nepturis. Second, he was charged for receiving the bribe. Why are both charges different? Because in the first charge, he had solicited an “unspecified amount” of kickbacks for the RM232 million project. Meaning the RM6.96 million he had received was not the final amount – the amount solicited and the amount received was different.

Unless Wan Saiful and Nepturis Sdn Bhd were incredibly dumb that they put it in black and white how much bribes must be paid in order to secure the project, the only explanation that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is charging Wan Saiful of soliciting an “unspecified amount” from the company is that the contractor has been singing like a canary.

It wasn’t a very difficult decision for the contractor to spill the beans after interrogation by the MACC. Either it tells everything like a good boy, or it would be charged for offering bribes in April 2022 to get the “pre-approval” road project. No contractor would go to prison in defence of a corrupt politician. Offenders could be sentenced up to 20 years of jail and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe.

Wan Saiful must be a fool for having received the bribes through his company’s CIMB account under WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd from Nepturis. Has he not learned anything from former Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose comical claim that the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) found in his personal bank accounts were donations from Saudi royal family could not be proven till today?

By crediting the RM6.96 million into his own company’s bank account, it created money trails – proof that the MACC and prosecutors can use to convict and send Wan Saiful to prison. If only Bersatu president Muhyiddin has taught his boy a trick or two about accepting bribes in the form of cash for such small amount of money, Wan Saiful might not have gotten himself into a shithole now.

Unlike Najib’s complicated web of corruption and money laundering in the 1MDB scandal, Wan Saiful’s case is absolutely straightforward. The contractor is willing to reveal how much the corrupt politician was trying to solicit in exchange for the project, and RM6.96 million had changed hands – translating to approximately 3% of the RM232 million project.

After the MACC raided eight government agencies and nine companies in December 2022 as part of its investigation into the suspected misappropriation of RM92.5 billion by the Perikatan Nasional government, it was found that at least five middlemen of several companies were involved in obtaining projects worth between RM50 million and RM500 million through direct negotiations.

Contractors who had been grilled by the anti-graft agency admitted that they agreed to pay a commission of 3% to 5% to secure projects from those middlemen. So, the burning question is whether Wan Saiful was one of those lucky middlemen who were entrusted to collect bribes on behalf of the disgraced crook – former PM Muhyiddin Yassin.

If the foolish Wan Saiful was one of the middlemen, it means the amount he had solicited would be more than RM6.96 million. Meaning besides his own commission of RM6.96 million, Nepturis had to also pay another chunk of bribes to the big shark – Muhyiddin. Whether the ex-premier had been paid, or how the solicited bribes were paid, will be revealed very soon.

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Muhyiddin was cleverer than Najib and Wan Saiful, of course. He only accepts cash as that’s the only way to avoid money trail – and easy to hide. Having learned from Najib’s foolishness of stashing cash and jewelleries in his children’s posh apartments, Muhyiddin might have hidden hundreds of millions of Ringgit in a house rented by third parties for the purpose of stashing the ill-gotten money.

Here’s the proof – former UMNO warlord Annuar Musa proudly told all and sundry in TikTok how Muhyiddin gave him tens of millions during the 2020 Sabah state election. Annuar said – “I flew to Sabah and met Muhyiddin myself. I entered his bedroom and told him UMNO didn’t have enough money and lacked funds. Muhyiddin gave tens of millions to help UMNO when in Sabah.”

If former backdoor PM Muhyiddin could easily give away tens of millions of Ringgit as if the money was loose change, it means there were hundreds of millions more in his bedroom. Annuar thought he was smart when he tried to defend his former boss as a generous man trying to help his party UMNO. He didn’t realize his dumb revelation will eventually haunt Muhyiddin.

In Dec 2022, the MACC recorded testimonies of five people, including Annuar in connection with the free flow of money dished out by Muhyiddin. While it’s harder to implicate the former prime minister, it does not mean it’s totally impossible to incriminate him. If the contractor reveals everything, and Wan Saiful agrees to cooperate in exchange for leniency, Muhyiddin is toast.

That’s why opposition Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin, along with top guns like Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin had turned up outside the Session Court where Wan Saiful was charged last week (Feb 21). It might look like a demonstration of strong support for him, but in reality, the big crooks were extremely afraid the small fry will expose everything.

Despite flashing smiles, Wan Saiful was terrified as he knew he would go to jail unless Attorney General Idrus Harun and MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki – both political appointees of Muhyiddin – deliberately create loopholes in the case and purposely screw up during the trial to help him. In fact, Bersatu was so panicked that it has launched dozens of half-baked pre-emptive strikes.

From spinning lies that the Anwar-led Unity Government is the most vengeful government in the world to creating false narratives that the government was trying to kill Bersatu through selective prosecution, the corrupt party is throwing everything, including the kitchen sink to hoodwink its gullible supporters. The panic saw Shafiq Abdul Halim, a freelance researcher of Wan Saiful, spread dangerous rumours.

Shafiq had used TikTok to wildly accuse the MACC of offering RM10 million to Wan Saiful to change his story to implicate Muhyiddin, only for the dubious researcher to be arrested by the MACC despite his apology. The anti-graft agency does not need to bribe Wan Saiful, not that it has RM10 million to begin with. The RM92.5 billion Covid-19 Stimulus Packages is a massive scandal.

And Jana Wibawa, a programme to help Bumiputera contractors but conveniently hijacked by Wan Saiful to enrich himself, is just a small part of the Covid-19 Stimulus Packages. The RM92.5 billion scandal is so huge it makes Najib’s RM2.6 billion corruption looks like child play. There are dozens of contractors willing to talk as prosecution witnesses in order to escape prosecution.

In truth, Muhyiddin has already admitted that his party received bribes when he whined, moaned and bitched that every political party accept funds. He asked why leaders of Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional were not charged in court despite receiving funds from their supporters. He conveniently ignored the fact that his party was caught soliciting kickbacks in exchange for projects.

Pakatan Harapan never offered any projects because they were the Opposition. Barisan Nasional was one of the governing partners of Muhyiddin’s backdoor government. If Barisan had received bribes in exchange for projects, why hadn’t he taken any action in his capacity as the 8th Prime Minister? Like Wan Saiful, another middleman charged was Adam Radlan.

On Jan 5 night, the 42-year-old Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad was detained over his role as “middleman” in brokering government projects related to Covid-19 stimulus packages worth RM92.5 billion (US$21 billion) in exchange for bribes. A former chief executive of Maju Assets Sdn Bhd, Adam is also Segambut divisional leader of Muhyiddin’s political party – Bersatu.

The best part is Adam is the cousin of Muhyiddin’s son-in-law, Muhamad Adlan Berhan, who in turn was involved in several scandals. Mr Adam, Muhyiddin’s money collector, has been slapped with multiple corruption charges, with more coming. It would be interesting to see if he is willing to go to jail alone or drag Muhyiddin along to make the prison a merrier place for holiday.

In the same breath, Annuar Musa could be next to be charged in the Kuala Lumpur Tower scandal involving the suspicious sale of the KL Tower concession by Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) to a company that was facing bankruptcy. The tower is owned by the Malaysian government, while operations and maintenance of the tower were granted to Telekom in 1996.

Through TM’s subsidiary Menara KL Sdn Bhd, the concession and management rights of Menara KL brought in a cool RM20.9 million “net profit” in 2019 for Telekom Malaysia. A year earlier (2018), Menara KL, also known as KL Tower, generated a net profit of RM25.6 million. Strangely, Telekom had on Oct 31 disposed its 100% interest in Menara KL for merely RM3.8 million.

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Worse, the valuable asset was sold to a financially troubled company called Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd – owned by Abdul Hamid Shaikh bin Abdul Razak Shaikh and Nazarina binti Mohamed Nasir, with 500,000 shares each. Despite the unfamiliar names, sources have claimed that 42-year-old Nazarina is “girlfriend or mistress” of former Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa.

Suspiciously, the ownership of KL Tower was quietly transferred to Shah Alam-based Hydroshoppe on October 31, 2022, just days after then-PM Ismail Sabri dissolved the Parliament on Oct 10, paving the way for the 15th General Election – suggesting that it was done hastily by powerful minister(s) in anticipation of a loss by Muhyiddin’s fragile Perikatan Nasional coalition.

At best, some corrupt TM top guns were bribed not to renew its concession, allowing the ownership of KL Tower to be transferred to Hydroshoppe. At worst, Annuar and powerful crooks linked to Muhyiddin had abused their power by forcefully stripping KL Tower from TM and awarding the cash cow to Hydroshoppe, a company involved in cosmetic products instead of property management.

Like the arrest of middleman Adam Radlan, the MACC has also arrested two individuals believed to be the middlemen who managed the bribery in the KL Tower scandal, as well as the managing director of Hydroshoppe. The MACC has completed its investigations and has submitted the investigation paper to the Attorney General. But Annuar’s involvement might not be limited to KL Tower alone.

MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki had hinted that more people would be charged in the Jana Wibawa programme scandal, including top leaders like Muhyiddin. Now, if even small fry like Wan Saiful had both his hands in the cookie jar, it would not be a surprise if Annuar Musa too has his share. After all, he is the biggest cheerleader of Muhyiddin. – Finance Twitter