KUALA LUMPUR : In the opening stages of her defence to corruption charges related to the RM1.25 billion project for the supply of electricity to 369 rural schools in Sarawak, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor testified at the High Court that she should instead testify against former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor’s alleged corrupt acts.
Taking the witness stand in her own defence, Rosmah vehemently denied all charges laid against her.
She stated that it was allegedly Rizal’s own volition to solicit bribes from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd to secure the project, but yet had placed the blame on her and had subsequently slandered her public image in the process with his inaccurate testimony in court as a prosecution witness.
Rosmah further stated that Rizal had even admitted to soliciting bribes of RM25 million from Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin and the latter’s business partner Rayyan Radzwill Abdullah.
“Yang Arif, it is I who should be a prosecution witness towards PW21 (Rizal) and not the other way around. PW21 has openly admitted to wrongdoings towards all his charges in his sworn testimony in court during this trial.
“PW21 also admitted to soliciting RM25 million from PW17 (Saidi), which was RM5 million a year, for five years.
“PW21 also admitted to receiving RM500,000 from PW17, admitted to receiving bribes worth RM30,000 from PW16 (Rayyan) to be paid to Datuk Ahmed Farriq Zainul Abidin (PW9), admitted to receiving bribes six to seven times from PW17, at least RM500,000 every time, and admitted to receiving bribes from PW17 from PW16 for his Umrah trip with his family.
“I however have never solicited or received any bribes from PW17 or PW16, either directly or through PW21 and I have never done or admitted to doing so,” she said.
Rosmah further stated that RIzal’s testimony was done allegedly to smear her good name and credibility as the wife of a former prime minister, through an “inter alia deal” with the prosecution to withdraw the charges laid against him and subsequently act as a “crown witness” for the prosecution in the proceedings.
Rosmah also stated that Rizal was never her special officer during his tenure in the special department under the Prime Minister’s Department dubbed the “First Lady of Malaysia” (Flom) office.
Rosmah explained that Rizal was only a media officer employed under Flom, with the official designation of Assistant Officer with Special Functions and was reporting directly to Flom’s special officer, Datuk Seri Siti Azizah Sheikh Abod, and was primarily responsible to disseminate official information to avoid confusion or negative perception from the general public towards the department.
However, Rosmah stated that Rizal was not a competent officer as he was unable to write her speech text and had disciplinary issues and would sometimes go “missing” from conducting his duties.
Rosmah also refuted Rizal’s statement that she had hired a team of cybertroopers with a salary of RM100,000 a month to defend her public image.
“The statement by PW21 is not true at all. The supposed fact that I have a high degree of trust to him is baseless.
“PW21 is only a contract media officer under Flom and has his duties in accordance with his position. If I was in contact with PW21, it is within his job scope and not because I supposedly have a high level of trust towards him.
“That is not all as I have never instructed PW21 to establish a team of cybertroopers that supposedly meant to deflect and give explanation towards every slander, and accusation towards me, to the public and what’s more of PW21 allegations that I supposedly give RM100,000 monthly to finance the team. I deny all of this,’’ she said.
In November 2018, Rosmah pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to two counts of soliciting RM187.5 million and receiving RM1.5 million for the project to provide electricity to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.
She was charged under Section 16(a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACC) and faces imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
Rizal also pleaded not guilty to four counts of corruption involving the same project.
He was previously charged with seeking and receiving bribes for himself and Rosmah amounting to RM5.5 million involving the project to supply and install rural school solar energy in Sarawak.
However, on January 8, 2020, the High Court was informed that the prosecution will be withdrawing the charges against Rizal and he could stand as a witness in the trial.
By : DANIAL DZULKIFLY – MALAY MAIL