‘Rayyan threatened to expose Najib, Rosmah’s involvement in solar project’

A misunderstanding between Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and his business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah, resulted in threats from the latter to expose the involvement of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in the procurement of a hybrid solar project.

Former Education Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad informed the High Court here today that these threats occurred when Rayyan requested her assistance in securing a meeting with Najib, with the aim of snatching the contract for the solar project from Saidi.

Reading from her statement, the sixth witness for the prosecution, said Rayyan had sent her many messages through WhatsApp between October or November 2017 and May 2018, which indicated that he had had a misunderstanding with Saidi and was trying to wrest the contract from him.

“Rayyan also claimed that Saidi had committed various wrongdoings in reference to the solar project, such as changing the initial terms of the contract, making false claims and defrauding several parties.

“Rayyan’s purpose of informing me of these matters was to get me to help him meet with the Prime Minister so that he could wrest the contract from Saidi and Jepak. Rayyan also informed me that he would expose the involvement of the ‘PM’ and ‘Mem’ in the procurement of the solar project, to the Opposition if I did not assist him”, she said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib.

Previously during the trial, the prosecution’s fifth witness, former Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid had told the court that ‘Mem’ was used to refer to Rosmah.

Madinah also told the court today that she was uncomfortable with being forced to extend a memo dated June 16, 2016 by giving several recommendations including the approval of the solar project which would be implemented through a process of direct negotiations with Jepak Holdings, in the absence of complete information submitted to the Education Ministry for its consideration.

“I was forced to do so because of cumulative factors such as pressure from Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the form of his minutes dated Dec 1, 2015 and June 7, 2016, verbal pressure which Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid received from Datuk Seri Najib Razak to implement the Jepak solar project, and on occasions when the Education Ministry requested complete information from Jepak or tried to engage with Jepak, it would stall,” she said.

Madinah, 63, who was secretary-general from June 13, 2013 until her retirement on Sept 2, 2016, also said that between June 8 and 23, 2016, Rayyan had also used the prime minister’s name to urge her to expedite the approval of the application to undertake the solar project through direct negotiations the application had been sent to the Finance Ministry. The messages from Rayyan included the phrases the boss will take it up from there and the boss knows what to do, with Rosmah’s then aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor, also using similar phrases such as “the boss will know what to do” when Madinah had informed Rizal that there was no allocation for the project.

To her recollection, Madinah said Najib himself had asked her about the status of the approval of the project during a procurement meeting held at the Prime Minister’s office in the Parliament building.

According to Madinah, she had told Najib that the application for direct negotiations had already been forwarded to the Finance Ministry, and the Education Ministry was facing a shortage of funds to undertake the project.

She also told the court that through a letter dated August 22, 2016 from the Finance Ministry, she was informed that Jepak had been awarded all contracts for the maintenance of diesel ‘gensets’ (generator sets) for a three-year period, and the contracts were to be implemented through a process of direct negotiations.

Following the receipt of the letter, Madinah’s office had sent a letter to then Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah to request for an additional allocation of RM461.7 million to undertake the solar project.

Rosmah, 68, has claimed trial to a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving a bribe of RM6.5 million from Saidi, through her former aide, Rizal, in exchange for helping Jepak Holdings obtain a RM1.25 billion project to provide solar energy to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

She allegedly committed the offences at three places, namely Lygon Cafe at Sunway Putra Mall in Jalan Putra here; her house at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta here, and at the Seri Perdana Residence, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and Sept 7, 2017.

Hearing continues before Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)