KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Rosmah Mansor, said it is more important that the people who accused her of purchasing a 22-carat pink diamond apologise to the people than to apologise to her.
Her comments were made to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on Wednesday (April 10), after she claimed trial at the Sessions Court to a third charge of graft related to the solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.
Rosmah said the "pink diamond" issue was trumped up by certain parties to "use it for the election".
"If people come to apologise to me, I will forgive them. But what is more important is to apologise to the people," she said.
A deputy minister had earlier made a statement in the Dewan Rakyat clarifying that there was no purchase of the pink diamond popularly linked to her.
"They believe the slander spread about me, and this is only (one example of slander). But I have to be patient and accept it," she said.
"I understand that my husband is a leader of the country. What he goes through, I go through as well because I am his wife," she added.
On Wednesday, Rosmah was charged again over the solar hybrid project for rural schools in Sarawak.
She was accused of receiving a bribe of RM5 million (S$1.7 million) from Jepak Holdings' managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her aide Rizal Mansor, at her home on Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta on Dec 20, 2016.
The money was an inducement for helping Jepak Holdings to obtain a project known as "Project Bersepadu Sistem Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Hibrid" to supply, maintain and operate the generator set (genset) and diesel for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiations with the Education Ministry.
The offence under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 carries imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted.
Rosmah, 68, pleaded not guilty after the charge was read out to her before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Dusuki Mokhtar offered bail at RM1 million in one surety on grounds that the accused was charged with a serious offence.
Lawyer Akberdin Abdul Kader, however, objected and said bail was only to secure attendance. "The amount is too high. She is a full-time housewife," he said. "We ask the court to adopt a bail of RM1 million that was used in a previous case (related to the same project)."
Judge Azura then allowed bail from Rosmah's previous case to be used in this case.
DPP Dusuki also informed the court that the prosecution would apply to transfer the case to the High Court.
The case is fixed for mention on May 10.