False document trial: Peter Anthony sent support letters to Najib even after tender closed, witness tells court

Datuk Peter Anthony at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, May 3, 2021. — Bernama pic
Datuk Peter Anthony at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, May 3, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — The Sessions Court was today told that Datuk Peter Anthony sent three support letters regarding the Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) system maintenance and services contract at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to the then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2014, a month after the tender was closed.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating officer Mazery Mohd Zaini, 37, said Peter, who is also the former Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister, sent letters dated June 9 and 10 and July 11, 2014 to Najib’s principal private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias, despite knowing the tender was closed in May the same year.

“The tender offer was advertised (opened) on April 30, 2014 and closed on May 27, 2014. It was an open tender...eleven contractors, including Asli Jati Engineering Sdn Bhd, Dayamara Sdn Bhd and RE MT Utama Sdn Bhd had applied for the tender,” he said.

The 10th prosecution witness said this when answering a question from deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, on the sixth day of the trial involving Peter who is facing charges of using false documents relating to a system maintenance contract.

When asked by Wan Shaharuddin about the company that won the tender, the witness replied, “RE MT Utama Sdn Bhd.”

Mazery said the three letters had the same title except for the one dated July 11 which had asked for a direct negotiation for the project.

Previously, the sixth prosecution witness, former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi told the court that the contract of Asli Jati Engineering Sdn Bhd for maintenance works in UMS which would be expiring on February 25 2015, would not be renewed by the university.

Zaki, 76, who was appointed as UMS board of directors chairman from April 3, 2013 to July 31, 2018, said the decision not to extend the contract was made by the university board of directors in a meeting on Jan 16, 2014 chaired by him with the attendance of UMS vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Harun Abdullah as well as other members of the board.

However, Zaki said around August 2014, Mohamad Harun met him and said there were three support letters on operations and maintenance of M&E system.

He said among the content of the support letters was that UMS supported awarding the contract work to Asli Jati.

Zaki also said that he had informed the matter to the then Higher Education Ministry secretary-general  Datuk Zaini Ujang who later arranged a meeting with Najib who was also the then finance minister at Parliament building.

In today’s proceedings, Wan Shaharuddin also informed the court that Najib would be called to testify as a prosecution witness on May 19.

Peter, 50, as the managing director of Asli Jati Sdn Bhd, is charged with forging a letter from the UMS deputy vice chancellor’s office dated June 9, 2014, by inserting a false statement in the title of the letter with the intention of using it to deceive the office of the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister at the Perdana Putra Building in Putrajaya between June 13, 2014, and August 21, 2014.

He was also charged on the optional charge as the managing director of Asli Jati Sdn Bhd over the use of a false document as genuine, namely a letter from the office of the deputy vice-chancellor of UMS dated June 9, 2014, which had a false statement in the title of the letter, and he had reason to believe that the document is false, in the same place and time.

The trial before Judge Azura Alwi continues tomorrow. — Bernama

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