A witness in the Sabah water department corruption trial says he gave the department’s then director Ag Mohd Tahir Ag Mohd Talib RM1.35 million annually from 2004 to 2015 in exchange for providing contracts to a company.

Wong Kok Vui @ Michael, 69, told the Kota Kinabalu sessions court that he started paying the money to express his “thanks” after Tahir was appointed as the state water department’s director in 2003.

According to The Borneo Post, Wong said the payments, amounting to RM450,000 each time, were made three times a year. He estimated that he had paid Tahir around RM16.2 million in total.

He added that the money was paid in return for his construction company, Bintang Jaya Enterprise, getting contracts from the department.

“If I did not give him the money, it is very likely that I would not be able to obtain any job from the department.

“After informing him a day earlier, we would usually meet at a nearby golf resort. I would enter his car and put the money in a plastic bag on his car floor.

“If both of us had time, we would have coffee there for around 20 minutes or so, but we never discussed the contribution. It was mainly just small talk.

“I think I have obtained an estimated RM12 million net profit from the projects given to me,” he said.

Tahir, 58, is on trial with his wife, Fauziah Piut, 55, and former state water department deputy director Lim Lam Beng, 66.

The trio had on Dec 29, 2016 pleaded not guilty to 37 counts of money laundering involving RM61.57 million.

Former department deputy director Teo Chee Kong, who was initially one of the key suspects in the case, was acquitted of 146 counts of money laundering charges involving RM32.93 million in March 2022.

Wong claimed that Teo promised a succession of job contracts from the department’s Kota Kinabalu division if his company paid the ex-deputy director around 30% of the quotation for various contracts.

He alleged that he had paid over RM10 million in “contributions” to Teo from 2004 to 2016 when working with the department’s Kota Kinabalu division.

“I was made to understand by Teo that the money would be distributed among the higher-ups at the department’s headquarters, including the director, deputy director and other officers.”

Source : FMT

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