Monday, August 10

Rosmah trial: Former MoE sec-gen says business partners fought over RM1.2 bln solar deal


Rosmah (centre) arrives at the High Court. — Bernama file photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s Saidi Abang Samsudin and Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah fell out with each other and the latter tried to secure a RM1.25 billion solar power project from the government for himself, the High Court heard today.

Testifying in Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s corruption trial, former Education Ministry (MoE) secretary general Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad said Rayyan had asked for her help to snatch the project away from Saidi.

She said he told her that Saidi had engaged in fraud to secure the deal.

“Between the month of October or November 2017 and May 2018, Rayyan sent me numerous messages through WhatsApp to the point that I did not pay too much attention to Rayyan’s messages.

“From those messages, I found that Rayyan has a misunderstanding with Saidi and Rayyan is working to seize the solar hybrid project from Saidi.

“Rayyan also claimed that Saidi conducted many violations in the solar hybrid project such as changing the original terms of the solar hybrid project, making false claims and utilising the solar hybrid project to commit monetary fraud with various parties.

“The reason why Rayyan told me such matters is so that I would help him to meet with the prime minister on the reason to seize the solar hybrid project from Saidi and Jepak,’’ said Madinah.

Madinah also said Rayyan had threatened to reveal the involvement of the “PM” and “Madam” in the project to the Opposition at the time if she did not help.

In her previous testimony, Madinah said interested parties in the solar hybrid project such as Datuk Rizal Mansor had used “PM” and “Madam” to refer to then-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Rosmah, respectively.

Madinah said she did not entertain Rayyan’s messages but connected him with Najib’s then principal private secretary, Datuk Iskandar Kaus, over his request to meet the prime minister.

Earlier in her witness statement, Madinah said Najib was an “intelligent, visionary, and a forward-looking leader” who was “mindful” of the cost and execution of any government project.

Consequently, Madinah said she was perplexed when Najib pressed the Education Ministry to proceed with the solar hybrid project despite its high cost and risks.

“Datuk Seri Najib had often reminded all the KSU (secretaries-general) to ensure that all projects applied must be ‘cangkul-ready’.

“This means, among others, that the budget is already allocated, planning has been done, and the project is ready to be executed.

“I don’t know why Datuk Seri Najib Razak has come out with follow-up instructions to conduct the solar hybrid project that involves high cost, large scale and high risk without comprehensive planning and detailed research or discussions with the Ministry of Education first,’’ she said. – Malay Mail