Jana Wibawa programme could only take off with Cabinet approval, says witness

The Jana Wibawa programme, which was established to assist Bumiputera contractors impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, only took off following Cabinet approval in 2020, the court heard on Monday.

(The Edge) – Testifying in the ongoing trial of former Bersatu information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan’s corruption and money-laundering trial, former Ministry of Finance (MOF) government procurement division deputy secretary Rosni Mohd Yusoff also agreed with the defence that the programme was proposed by the MOF to then prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The MOF’s proposal was made in line with Muhyiddin’s call to review Bumiputera-related policies to improve the group’s competitiveness in a challenging business environment rattled by the global pandemic.

Defence counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad: [Per the letter] as I understand it, there was a suggestion from former finance minister [Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz] to the then PM on the proposal for the Jana Wibawa project. And the former PM had minuted that he would consider it.

Rosni: I agree.

The prosecution’s third witness was shown a letter between Tengku Zafrul and Muhyiddin dated July 23, 2020, which included a brief note by Muhyiddin, who is the Bersatu president, saying that he would consider the suggestion. Amer said Muhyiddin’s note was dated Aug 3, 2020.

Following this, the witness agreed that the proposal for the programme was then brought to a Cabinet meeting, which later green-lit the proposal in November that year.

Amer: The Cabinet considered the proposal and decided to go ahead with the suggestion on Nov 13, 2020.

Rosni: Agree.

Amer: Based on the series of events, the Jana Wibawa programme could only be implemented after Cabinet had approved it?

Rosni: Agree.

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