Former director never rejected contribution money – contractor


KOTA KINABALU (May 25): A contractor involved in the Sabah watergate scandal revealed that a former State Water Department (JANS) director had never refused any of the contribution money he offered to him.

Wong Kok Vui @ Michael, 69, said this during additional questions by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Mahadi Abdul Jumaat before Judge Abu Bakar Manat on Wednesday.

DPP: You said you had to give a certain percentage in contribution money to the JANS division and district engineers. But for Ag Mohd Tahir, how did you determine the amount to give?
Witness: We did not have an agreement on the percentage. I can only estimate the amount I have given him to be around RM1.35 million (yearly).

DPP: Every time you gave him the money, what was Ag Mohd Tahir’s reaction?
Witness: He just said thank you.

DPP: Has he ever rejected any of the contribution money you offered him?
Witness: Never.

During cross examination by counsel Priskila Awkila on Thursday, Michael said that the RM16.2 million contribution money he had given to Ag Mohd Tahir was voluntary.

Michael had denied that Ag Mohd Tahir had ever asked him to give 30 percent commission money to JANS division and district engineers.

Counsel: So when you said that you had given money to him, that was voluntary?
Witness: Yes.

Counsel: So that means he had never asked you for contribution money as you previously mentioned in your witness statement, agree?
Witness: Agree.

Counsel: You also said that you had no records of the contribution money given to Ag Mohd Tahir, and you had handed him the money when there was no one around?
Witness: Yes.

Counsel: So I put it to you that you do not have any proof or statements or witnesses to support your claim that you had given Ag Mohd Tahir contribution money?
Witness: Correct. If I keep any records, it will be bad for me as it is an offence.

Counsel: You had also said that the JANS division and district engineers were the ones who determined which JANS projects will go to which contractors, agree?
Witness: Agree.

Counsel: And it was not Ag Mohd Tahir who chose the contractors?
Witness: Correct.

To a question, Michael said that he had to follow all instructions by JANS Kota Kinabalu division engineer Teo Chee Kong.

He told the court that when he was working with JANS Papar, he was instructed to not give 30 percent commission money to JANS Papar engineer Ahmad Sapawi.

Michael explained that he was ordered by Teo to not give the money to Sapawi but to him instead.

Counsel: This was not ordered by Ag Mohd Tahir, correct?
Witness: Correct.

Counsel: And you still followed Teo’s instructions? Why?
Witness: Yes. Because as a contractor, I have to follow the directions of the officer in charge at the respective JANS division.

Counsel: So you have to follow any instructions given by Teo and you do not have to wait for confirmation by Ag Mohd Tahir, agree?
Witness: Agree.

Counsel: Do you agree that Teo is the mastermind behind this commission money scheme?
Witness: I disagree. As far as I know, he does not have the power to decide on the scheme.

Ag Mohd Tahir, 59, Fauziah, 57, and Lim, 68, were tried for alleged money laundering offences involving cash and huge amounts of bank savings as well as unlawful possession of luxury goods.

Ag Mohd Tahir faces 11 charges and Fauziah faces 19 charges under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

Apart from that Fauziah has another two joint charges with Ag Mohd Tahir under Section 4 (1)(b) also of the same Act and Ag Tahir also has another charge under Section 4(1)(a) of the same Act.

The hearing will resume on May 26.