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Monday, May 3, 2021

Peter Anthony sent support letters to Najib even after tender closed - witness

 


The Sessions Court was told today that Peter Anthony sent three support letters regarding a contract at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2014, a month after the tender was closed.

The project was regarding mechanical and electrical (M&E) system maintenance and services.

MACC investigating officer Mazery Mohd Zaini, 37, said Peter, who is also a former Sabah infrastructure development minister, sent letters dated June 9 and 10 and July 11, 2014 to Najib’s principal private secretary, the late Azlin Alias, despite knowing the tender was closed in May the same year.

“The tender offer was advertised on April 30, 2014 and closed on May 27, 2014. It was an open tender... 11 contractors, including Asli Jati Engineering Sdn Bhd, Dayamara Sdn Bhd, and RE MT Utama Sdn Bhd applied for the tender,” he said.

Mazery, 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 asked for a direct negotiation for the project.

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

Zaki, 76, who was appointed UMS board of directors chairperson 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 Mohamad Harun Abdullah as well as other members of the board.

However, Zaki said around August 2014, Mohamad Harun told him there were three support letters on the operations and maintenance of the 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 he shared the matter with then Higher Education Ministry secretary-general Zaini Ujang who later arranged a meeting with Najib who was also then finance minister at the 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 Aug 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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