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Deputy issued letter to Najib behind my back: Ex-UMS VC
Published on: Thursday, April 08, 2021
By: Bernama
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Harun
Kuala Lumpur: Former Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Mohd Harun Abdullah told the Sessions Court here  he was shocked to receive a letter stating that the Finance Ministry had agreed to approve the university’s application to implement operations and maintenance work via direct negotiation with Asli Jati Engineering Sdn Bhd and ULink Property Sdn Bhd.

Mohd Harun, 61, who was the VC from June 2012 to June 2017 said he was surprised because, at that time, UMS had appointed REMT Utama Sdn Bhd and had signed a contract agreement for the work in question.

“On July 23, 2014, the UMS Procurement Board (A) Committee Meeting No. 1/2014 agreed to select REMT Utama Sdn Bhd to carry out projects for Operation and Maintenance works for Mechanical and Electrical Systems in phase 2B buildings, buildings and infrastructure at the main campus, an outpatient treatment centre in Sikuati, Kudat, and other UMS buildings for a period of 24 months, with a total project value of RM21,999,688.

“The selection of REMT Utama Sdn Bhd was based on an open tender advertised by UMS through the Tender Selection Committee,” he said during examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin on the first day of the trial of former Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony.

Peter is the Managing Director of Asli Jati Engineering while ULink Property is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UMS.

The first prosecution witness said a letter of acceptance was issued to REMT Utama company on July 23, 2014, and the company had confirmed the agreement and it was accepted by the treasurer’s office in the Procurement Division of UMS on July 31, 2014.

Referring to a letter dated June 9, 2014, Prof Mohd Harun confirmed that it was issued and signed by UMS deputy vice-chancellor for academic and international affairs Prof Shariff Abdul Kadir S. Omang Al-haj.

Peter


“It was sent to the (then) prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak without my knowledge and permission. Shariff did not inform me anything about this letter until I found out when I received a letter from the Ministry of Finance dated September 5, 2014, with a note from Najib as the Finance Minister,” he said.

Earlier, Peter, 50, pleaded not guilty when the amendments to the main charge and optional charge were read out before Judge Azura Alwi.

According to the amendment to the main charge, Peter, 50, as the managing director of Asli Jati Sdn Bhd, had allegedly forged 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 August 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.

For the amendment to the main charge, Peter was charged under Section 468 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum jail term of seven years and a fine, while the amendment to the optional charge was filed under Section 471 of the Penal Code and is punishable under Section 465 of the same code which carries a jail term of up to two years, or a fine, or both, if convicted.

At the beginning of the proceedings, the court was informed that Peter would from now on be represented by lawyers Datuk D. Senthinathan and Munawar Kabir Mohd Zainal Abidin, as the previous counsel had withdrawn from representing the accused.

The trial continues tomorrow. 



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