By Tarani Palani | The Edge Malaysia

Bersatu Information Chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan —THE EDGE/ZAHID IZZANI

Bersatu Information Chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan was never involved in any of the government committees that had awarded the ‘Central Spine Road: Sertik to East Coast Highway Intersection’ contract to Nepturis Sdn Bhd, the Sessions Court was told on Tuesday.

Testifying in Wan Saiful’s ongoing corruption and money-laundering trial, former senior director of the Public Works Department’s Contract and Material Measurement Division Datuk Zulkipeli Yamat also said that no one from these committees had complained that the Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament had meddled with the process throughout the period when the company was being considered for the government contract.

Defence counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad: Wan Saiful is not involved in any of the committees from December 2021 to March 2022?

Zulkipeli: Agree.

Amer: Not one person complained that Wan Saiful had interfered [with the tender process]?

Zulkipeli: Agree.

The seventh prosecution witness also agreed that he had not known the politician prior to this.

However, the witness also added that he had no knowledge of what transpired with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) committee.

The witness had previously testified that the contractors in the Jana Wibawa programme would have to be vetted by the Contractor Evaluation Committee in MOF’s Government Procurement Division.

Construction contractors would then be vetted by a ‘Tender Opening Committee’ within the Works Ministry’s Management and Acquisition of Property branch (CPPH) which would submit their findings to Zulkipeli’s department. The findings would then be presented to the Works Ministry’s Procurement Board.

The witness agreed that there had been no complaints made to him — that Wan Saiful had not pressured, interfered with, or influenced the project to be awarded to Nepturis through this circuitous process.  

However during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Nor Diyana Nor Azwa, the witness added that he had no knowledge of what transpired within the Works Ministry’s Procurement Board.

The court also heard that three companies had been shortlisted and suggested by the MOF, namely CKJ Management Services Sdn Bhd, MCS Management Sdn Bhd, and Nepturis.

Of these three, Nepturis had offered the lowest price of RM236,160,468.00. CKJ had offered RM236,945,478.60, while MCS Management had offered RM236,500,000.00.  

The witness also agreed with the defence attorney that these shortlisted companies had been vetted by the MOF and had passed the minimum requirement, among others, of a three-to-five-star score, as required by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

Zulkipeli also added that the project was finally tagged at RM232 million and was based on an agreement by both Nepturis and the government.

Wan Saiful is charged under section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 with soliciting bribes to help Nepturis secure the Central Spine Road project from the federal government through the pre-qualification process in April 2022.

On the second charge, the Tasek Gelugor MP is charged under section 17(a) of the MACC Act with receiving RM6.96 million through his company’s account from Nepturis, as an inducement to help Nepturis secure a letter of award for the same project.

The offences were allegedly committed between July 8 and Sept 30 in 2022.  

Both charges under the MACC Act are punishable under section 24 of the Act, and carry a sentence of up to 20 years in jail, and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Wan Saiful also faces 18 charges of money laundering amounting to RM5.594 million.

The trial before Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob continues on June 19.