Mahdzir Khalid asked for RM60m kickback from RM1.25b solar project, says witness in Rosmah’s trial

Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court on August 3, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court on August 3, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — A witness today told the High Court here that former Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid asked for 20 per cent from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd (Jepak Holdings) as gratification for helping the company secure the solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry (KPM) in 2016.

Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah, 40, a business partner of Jepak managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin said this during the cross-examination by counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader in the trial of the wife of former Prime Minister Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in connection to the solar energy project.

Akberdin: We know already the role played by Mahdzir in this project, because of the role he played in this project, I state that he asked for 20 per cent from Jepak as payment for helping Jepak Holdings in this project.

Rayyan Radzwill: Yes, through his friend named Md Fuad Yasin, and he (Md Fuad) was one of the individuals who was present during the first technical meeting (on the project) at the KPM.

Akberdin: Do you remember or not, because 20 per cent was big, Saidi said it cannot be entertained because (20 per cent) was too high, and after discussions, the 20 per cent was reduced to RM60 million for five years.

Rayyan Radzwill: Yes, true.

The 16th prosecution witness was testifying in the corruption trial of Rosmah, 68, who is facing a charge of soliciting RM187.5mil and two other charges of receiving bribe of RM6.5mil from Saidi.

The bribe was received through her then-aide Datuk Rizal Mansor as gratification for helping Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Integrated System and maintenance and operation of genset-diesel worth RM1.25bil for 369 rural schools in Sarawak through direct negotiation with the Education Ministry.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra, here; her residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Presint 10, Putrajaya, between January 2016 and September 7, 2017.

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court on August 3, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court on August 3, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

In his previous testimony, Mahdzir who is also the fifth prosecution witness denied the allegation by Rosmah’s counsel that he received RM60 million from Jepak Holdings as gratification for assisting the company secure the solar project.

Rayyan Radzwill who is also Nanocarb Technology Sdn Bhd director told the court that Saidi told him his business partner paid RM50,000 for hotel accommodations for Umno delegates from Padang Terap, Kedah, during the Umno General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur.

The prosecution witness agreed with Akberdin that the secretary of Umno Pekan division, Pahang, Datuk Aazmey Abu Talib also played a key role in assisting Jepak Holdings secure the solar project by procuring the minutes from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“As payment for the services given by Datuk Aazmey, Jepak drew up a consulting service agreement with him for the gratification that should be given to him,” Akberdin said, to which Rayyan Radzwill agreed, adding that he prepared the agreement on behalf of Jeepak Holdings.

“In short, the agreement between Jepak Holdings and Datuk Aazmey through the agreement was that Jepak Holdings agreed in principle to pay Datuk Aazmey RM50 million,” Akberdin said.

“I do not remember the amount, but I remember it was four or five per cent (of the RM1.25 billion solar project”, the witness said.

“Do you agree that Saidi had paid almost RM2 million to Datuk Aazmey,” Akberdin said, and Rayyan Radzwill replied: “Agreed, Datuk Aazmey did tell me.”

At one point, the witness became emotional when he said that from the beginning, he did not agree with the act of offering large sums of money to politicians to secure the project.

Rayyan Radzwill said he agreed to help Saidi in the technical work to secure the project because he came from a poor family which constantly suffered electricity disruptions.

“I told Saidi not to give money to them (politicians) but if you want to give, then give it to their areas, but Saidi was stubborn and said this (giving money) was necessary in order to secure a project. That is why many dealings of giving money (by Saidi) was outside my knowledge. When there was fraud about the terms of the project, I was called to lodge a police report,” he said.

The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow. — Bernama

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