Former education minister tells court Najib allowed Barisan Nasional man’s company to bypass payment rules

Mahdzir had previously spoken of his initial refusal and resistance in giving the project to Jepak Holdings which was alleged to be involved in car rentals and as a sub-contractor for the electricity supply to the Sarawak schools. Source (pic): MyKMU.Net

بكس منتري ڤنديديقن بريتاهو محكمه نجيب بنركن شريكت اورڠ باريسن ناسيونل ڤينتس ڤراتورن بايرن

Then-finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak agreed in 2017 to let a Barisan Nasional man’s company be exempted from payment rules in order to claim part of a RM1.25 billion contract, the High Court heard today.

Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, the education minister from July 2015 to May 2018, said Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin had approached him after encountering problems seeking funds from the Education Ministry.

“Then, Saidi demanded me to help and told me he would complain to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Datin Seri Rosmah and Datuk Rizal Mansor,” Mahdzir said, referring to Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and her then aide Rizal.

Throughout his testimony, Mahdzir had spoken of how Rosmah, Rizal, Najib and even Saidi and his business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah had repeatedly pressured him to expedite the granting of the contract to Jepak Holdings.


KUALA LUMPUR: Then-finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak agreed in 2017 to let a Barisan Nasional man’s company be exempted from payment rules in order to claim part of a RM1.25 billion contract, the High Court heard today.

Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, the education minister from July 2015 to May 2018, said Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin had approached him after encountering problems seeking funds from the Education Ministry.




Mahdzir said Saidi had told him in July 2017 that the company had been unable to obtain interim claims for electricity supply services to Sarawak schools through diesel generators since January 2017.

Mahdzir said Saidi had informed him that the Education Ministry’s finance division had refused to process the claims due to incomplete documentation following non-compliance with procedures for price negotiations.

Mahdzir said he told Saidi to comply with the financial procedures that had been discussed with and fixed by the Finance Ministry, but said Saidi then proceeded to belittle him as the education minister and as an old friend since the 1990s over Mahdzir’s inability to help him over this.

“Then, Saidi demanded me to help and told me he would complain to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Datin Seri Rosmah and Datuk Rizal Mansor,” Mahdzir said, referring to Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and her then aide Rizal.

Rizal’s request

Mahdzir said that Rizal met with him several days later in Putrajaya to request that he help  Jepak Holdings obtain payments from the government, but he told Rizal such matters must go through the Finance Ministry.

“Then, Datuk Rizal Mansor asked me to write a letter applying for exemption from Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the first finance minister,” he said.

Najib agrees

Mahdzir said he personally handed over a letter as the education minister on July 19, 2017 to Najib at around 12pm to 1pm after a Cabinet meeting, with the letter asking for Najib’s special exemption of incomplete documentation such as documents from the Finance Ministry to approve the project’s costs.

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“I told Datuk Seri Najib Razak that this letter is related to Jepak and there are problems for the payment process. I also asked Datuk Seri Najib Razak to give special exemption on financial procedures to enable payment to be made to Jepak,” he said, noting that Najib had the power to do so as the finance minister.

Mahdzir said Najib had then made a handwritten note or minute on the first page of the letter to the Finance Ministry’s government procurement division secretary Datuk Othman Semail stating “Bersetuju diberikan pengecualian khas seperti dipohon. Sila uruskan. (Agree to give special exemption as requested. Please handle.)”, adding that Najib had also signed the handwritten minute.

Mahdzir said he had then handed over the letter to Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad to handle, and was later informed by Alias verbally that the Finance Ministry had only taken note of Mahdzir’s request.

Mahdzir noted that Alias had also verbally told him that the Finance Ministry had noted that the Education Ministry did not comply with financial procedures in appointing Jepak Holdings for the project.

According to Mahdzir, Alias had also said the Finance Ministry had notified the Education Ministry of the latter’s responsibility to handle Jepak Holdings’ claim for an interim payment of RM92 million to avoid any legal implications as there was already a binding contract, and that such payment had to be made within 24 hours but with the Education Ministry required to ensure compliance of financial procedures.

Mahdzir said that he had left the payment issue to Alias to handle, noting that Jepak had allegedly pressured the Education Ministry’s finance officials to expedite the payment of the interim payment despite failing to provide complete supporting documents.

He said however that the Education Ministry had made interim payments to Jepak Holdings in 2017.

Mahdzir was testifying today as the fifth prosecution witness against Rosmah in the latter’s corruption trial, where the former prime minister’s wife is accused of seeking RM187.5 million in bribes and taking bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Saidi in exchange for helping Jepak Holdings get the RM1.25 billion project.

Throughout his testimony, Mahdzir had spoken of how Rosmah, Rizal, Najib and even Saidi and his business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah had repeatedly pressured him to expedite the granting of the contract to Jepak Holdings.

Mahdzir had previously spoken of his initial refusal and resistance in giving the project to Jepak Holdings which was alleged to be involved in car rentals and as a sub-contractor for the electricity supply to the Sarawak schools.

He also spoke today of how he doubted Jepak Holdings’ capability to take over the electricity supply services that was previously provided by 30 contractors and also the company’s failure to provide detailed financial and operation plans while pressing for the contract award.

Mahdzir said he had eventually caved in to constant pressure from the five and complied with then prime minister Najib’s orders to award the contract to Jepak Holdings, even before certain procedures had been met by the company.

Rosmah’s bribery trial before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan resumes tomorrow morning, with her lawyer expected to continue cross-examining Mahdzir tomorrow.

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