Finance Ministry directed JKR on Jana Wibawa contractor appointments, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court was told that the Public Works Department (JKR) received directives from the Finance Ministry through recommendation letters for the appointment of contractors for construction projects under the Jana Wibawa programme.

The former director of JKR's quantity surveying service in the contracts and quantity surveying branch (CKUB), Datuk Zulkipeli Yamat, 60, said these directives were issued following a coordination meeting for the implementation of the programme to empower competent bumiputra contractors.

The meeting was chaired by the Treasury secretary-general and attended by then JKR director-general Datuk Seri Ir Zulkefly Sulaiman, at the Finance Ministry on Dec 8, 2020.

"The procurement of contracts under the Jana Wibawa programme involved two types of procurement – direct negotiation and pre-qualification tender (second stage). Both types also had two tender methods, namely conventional and design-and-build," he said on Monday (May 20).

The seventh prosecution witness said this while reading his witness statement at the trial of the corruption and money laundering case involving Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

For projects awarded through pre-qualification tenders, Zulkipeli said the source of authority also originated from recommendation letters from the ministry to JKR.

Upon receiving the pre-qualification tender recommendation letter, CKUB would issue separate invitation letters to listed companies, arrange briefings for site visits and hand over documents inviting bid submissions.

"All tender documents were sent to the property management and procurement branch (CPPH) of the Works Ministry as specified in the invitation letter by the tender closing date," he said, adding that the evaluation of companies would be conducted after that.

Zulkipeli, who began public service in November 1992, said that upon receiving final approval of tenderer names and offered prices from the Finance Ministry, CKUB would prepare the ministerial authority delegation request letter, the letter of acceptance (LOA) along with the cover letter, and the letter of appointment of the supervising officer.

"The LOA would only be handed to the company after all the documents are duly signed by the authorised officer. Once the company receives the LOA, the CKUB would prepare the contract documents between the company and the Government of Malaysia.

"Project monitoring and work claims would be handled and monitored by JKR's road branch office," he said.

Wan Saiful, 47, was accused of soliciting a bribe from one Lian Tan Chuan as an inducement to help Nepturis Sdn Bhd secure the Central Spine Road: Sertik to East Coast Highway Intersection project from the Malaysian government through pre-qualification, valued at RM232mil.

He was also accused of receiving RM6,962,694.54 through the CIMB Bank account of his company, WSA Advisory Group Sdn Bhd, from Nepturis Sdn Bhd's Maybank Islamic Berhad account as a reward for helping the company obtain the LOA for the project.

The Tasek Gelugor MP was charged with committing both offences at the Royal Lake Club, Taman Tasik Perdana here in April 2022 and at CIMB Bank Berhad Bukit Tunku Branch between July 8 and Sept 30, 2022.

Wan Saiful also faced 18 money laundering charges involving RM5.59mil, including transferring and using proceeds from illegal activities, such as paying for a Ford Ranger vehicle, making payments to the National Sports Council of Malaysia, and transferring money to several company accounts, including that of Sinar Karangkraf Sdn Bhd.

All offences were alleged to have been committed at CIMB Bank Berhad Bukit Tunku Branch here between Aug 12 and Nov 13, 2022, under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

The trial before Judge Rozina Ayob continues on Tuesday (May 21). – Bernama

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