Malaysia

Rosmah trial: Not necessary to lodge report over Jepak Holdings’ alleged cheating as MACC was already investigating, said ex-MOE sec-gen

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrives at the Duta High Court in Kuala Lumpur July 13, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrives at the Duta High Court in Kuala Lumpur July 13, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Former secretary-general of the Education Ministry (MOE), Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad, revealed that no police report was lodged against malfeasance detected in relation to the contracts signed by Jepak Holdings Snd Bhd for the RM1.25 billion solar power project, the High Court told today.

Alias, who is the 13th prosecution witness in Datin Seri Rosmah’s corruption trial today, said this while under cross-examination by defence counsel, Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, who quizzed him on his actions after MOE officers had raised alarm bells that the contracts originally signed by Jepak Holdings had allegedly been tampered with.

Following the concerns of ministry officials, Alias stated that a meeting was called for March 14, 2018 to discuss the matter.

Three resolutions were reached during the meeting, which was to hold an internal inquiry, amend the contract or lodge a police report, Alias told the court.

Akberdin then pressed Alias on whether any of the resolutions were executed, including lodging a police report on the alleged attempts of cheating by Jepak Holdings, to which the latter said no.

Akberdin: Why was no police report lodged over the cheating?

Alias: Because at the time the MACC was already investigating.

Akberdin: What are you talking about Datuk? The MACC came after. Why didn’t you lodge a police report?

Alias: As I said, the MACC was already investigating.

Former Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad is pictured at the Duta High Court in Kuala Lumpur July 13, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Former Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad is pictured at the Duta High Court in Kuala Lumpur July 13, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Alias also admitted in court that the alleged cheating by Jepak Holdings could “short change” the MOE.

Akberdin then suggested that Alias was in cahoots with then education minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid to not penalise Jepak Holdings, including lodging a police report against allegations of misconduct by the firm as they had a vested interest in the project.

Alias stated he disagreed with the suggestion.

Akberdin also needled Alias on his personal relationship with Jepak Holding’s director Saidi Abang Samsudin, asking whether Alias had invited Saidi to his daughter’s wedding.

Alias explained that he had not intended to invite the firm’s director but said a mishap involving the guest list, allegedly by a personal assistant, resulted in Saidi being invited to the wedding.

Akberdin also produced two photos to the court, showing Saidi alongside Mahdzir at Alias’ daughter’s wedding.

During cross-examination, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib quizzed Alias on why he and other MOE officials had not lodged a police report on Jepak Holdings’ alleged misconduct.

Akram: Why was a police report not lodged?

Alias: Well, at the time, my officer had informed me that the MACC had already known of the matter and had entered the MOE to take the necessary documents.

Akram: Was there a need to file a police report after that?

Alias: No, because the MACC is also an investigative body.

Akram also asked Alias whether he had felt by playing golf with Saidi or whether the firm’s director’s presence at his daughter’s wedding was misconduct.

Alias stated that he had not committed any wrongdoing by playing golf with Saidi as they had played at Tropicana Golf and Country Club where he is an honorary member and not required to pay any fees.

Alias also stated that it was not wrong for Saidi to attend his daughter’s wedding as the firm’s contract with the ministry was signed before the event.

In this trial, Rosmah is facing several charges, including allegedly receiving a RM5 million bribe and a RM1.5 million bribe from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd’s Saidi Abang Samsudin on the dates of December 20, 2016 and September 7, 2017 in exchange for helping the company get the RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project.

The trial before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan resumes tomorrow.

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