KUCHING, Sept 2 — Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) today welcomed the conviction of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of jailed former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, of corruption charges involving a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 Sarawak schools, by the High Court yesterday.
Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said Rosmah had allegedly taken a substantial sum of the RM1.2 billion allocation supposedly for the supply of electricity to the schools in Sarawak.
“Ultimately, when there is corruption, be it as the state or national level, the people will suffer, and in this case, our school-going children, who were supposed to have the solar-powered electricity,” he told reporters after chairing the state PH annual general meeting here.
“Luckily, in 2018, we have a change in the federal government after the general election. Without the change of government from the Barisan Nasional to PH, this scandal would not have been exposed,” he said.
He said the change of the government, though for only 22 months, has the effect of bringing about important reforms in the country, citing the jailing of Najib and conviction of his wife as examples.
Chong, who is also the Sarawak DAP chairman, urged the people to give their support to the state PH in the coming general election.
“We have unaccomplished business, unaccomplished reforms to be implemented for the betterment of this country, and that we need the people’s strong support for us to be in a position to deliver those unfinished reforms,” he said.
He said the top priority on the state PH’s reform agenda is to get rid the country of corruption.
“You cannot deny that corruption has hurt us so much,” he said, citing the solar-powered electricity project in Bintulu as an example that had deprived the schoolchildren of electricity.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday sentenced Rosmah to 10 years’ imprisonment and imposed a record fine of RM970 million after she was found guilty of charges of corruption involving a RM1.25 billion solar hybrid energy project for 369 Sarawak schools.
The fine is five times the bribe amount, the maximum allowable under the Section 16 of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act with which she was charged.
Rosmah was found guilty of soliciting and receiving bribes in turn for offering a government project to supply energy to 369 rural schools in Sarawak. The contract was worth RM1.25 billion.
Rosmah was accused of seeking or receiving a total of RM194 million. The section of the MACC Act allows for a maximum fine of five times this amount.