KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — During today’s Sessions Court hearing of Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan’s corruption and money laundering trial, it was revealed that the Contractor Evaluation Committee (JPK) under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) conducted screenings of contractors shortlisted during the prime minister’s meetings for projects under the Jana Wibawa programme.

The Empowerment of Competent Bumiputera Contractors (Jana Wibawa) programme was introduced during the tenure of former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to accelerate project implementation and boost the country’s economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ministry of Finance, Government Procurement Division, former deputy secretary Datin Rosni Mohd Yusoff, 52, stated that the committee she chaired at the time would screen and evaluate contractors shortlisted in the prime minister’s meetings.

She was responding to cross-examination by Wan Saiful’s lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad.

Amer Hamzah: “When a list of contractors is submitted to the JPK, whether for direct negotiation projects or under pre-qualification open tenders, the committee chaired by Datin Rosni would conduct screening and evaluation.”

Rosni: Yes, but with a list of contractors that are minuted in the prime minister’s meetings or have a letter of endorsement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Rosni, currently serving as the undersecretary of MOF’s Statutory Body Strategic Management Division, stated that after evaluation the list of contractors would be recommended to the Minister of Finance for approval.

The witness, however, disagreed with Amer Hamzah’s suggestion that the Ministry of Finance was solely responsible for selecting the contractors and projects under the Jana Wibawa programme.

“The final decision on the selection of companies is made by the Minister of Finance after discussing with the Prime Minister’s Office,” the witness emphasised.

When queried by the lawyer about the whereabouts of the documents detailing these discussions, Rosni replied, “I cannot produce the documents as they have been relocated to another department within the Ministry of Finance.”

Wan Saiful, 47, is accused of soliciting a bribe from one Lian Tan Chuan to help Nepturis Sdn Bhd secure the Central Spine Road: Sertik to East Coast Highway Intersection project from the Malaysian government, valued at RM232 million, at the pre-qualified stage.

He is also accused of receiving RM6,962,694.54 in cash through his company WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd’s CIMB Bank account from Nepturis Sdn Bhd’s Maybank Islamic account as an inducement for aiding the company secure the project.

The Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament allegedly committed both offences at the Royal Lake Club, Taman Tasik Perdana, in April 2022, and at CIMB Bank’s Bukit Tunku Branch between July 8 and September 30, 2022.

Wan Saiful also faces 18 money laundering charges involving RM5.59 million. These charges include purportedly transferring and using illicit funds to pay for a Ford Ranger vehicle, making payments to the National Sports Council of Malaysia, and transferring money to various company accounts, including Sinar Karangkraf Sdn Bhd.

The offences are alleged to have occurred at CIMB Bank’s Bukit Tunku Branch between August 12 and November 13, 2022, under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing, and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The trial, presided over by Judge Rozina Ayob, will resume on August 8. — Bernama