Dr Madinah Mohamad told the High Court that former education minister Mahdzir Khalid had complained to her about the pressure he was receiving from Najib Razak regarding the hybrid solar project in Sarawak.

The former secretary-general of the education ministry said Mahdzir among other things told her that Najib verbally ordered him to implement the hybrid solar project and that the former prime minister was quite upset that the project appeared to have been delayed.

The sixth prosecution witness in the corruption trial of the former prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor said Mahdzir had also told her to just extend the application for direct negotiation on the solar project to Najib in his capacity as the then Finance Minister.

“Apart from that, pressure also came in the form of minutes dated Dec 1, 2015 and June 7, 2016 from Najib Razak directing Mahdzir Khalid to carry out the order to replace the diesel genset project with the hybrid solar project,” she said when reading out her witness statement.

Rosmah, 68, has claimed trial to a charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving a bribe of RM6.5 million from Saidi through her former aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor in exchange for helping Jepak Holdings obtain a RM1.25 billion project to provide solar energy to 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

It was as an inducement to help Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Diesel for the 369 rural schools in Sarawak, worth RM1.25 billion, through direct negotiation from the Education Ministry.

She allegedly committed the offences at three places, namely Lygon Cafe at Sunway Putra Mall in Jalan Putra here; her house at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta here, and at the Seri Perdana Residence, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and Sept 7, 2017.

Madinah, 63, who was secretary-general from June 13, 2013 until her retirement on Sept 2, 2016, said without Najib’s minutes dated June 7, 2016, she would not have entertained Jepak’s application as it did not give a breakdown on costing and lacked information on the detailed job scope and accredited consultant appointed for the project.

She said there was no pressing need at the Education Ministry level to expedite acquisition matters on the solar project, which was also not in the ministry’s development planning.

“The electricity supply planning at the Education Ministry then comprised the diesel genset project and extension to the electric grid line only,” said Madinah, also a former auditor-general, on the seventh day of the trial.

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