KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 – The High Court was told today that bloggers like ‘Papagomo’, ‘Parpukari’ and ‘The Unspinners’ were among 40 cybertroopers paid by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor to portray her good image and reputation in the social media.
Rosmah’s former special officer, Datuk Rizal Mansor, 46, said that the three of them received a payment of RM5,000 per month from the allocated RM100,000 for nearly six years since 2012.
“They were among the three or four team leaders of the cybertroopers team. There were also 12 to 15 bloggers that were paid around RM3,000 and about 30 ‘Facebookers’ of whom all were paid around RM2,000 each during the six years,” he said during cross-examination by Rosmah’s lawyer Datuk Jagjit Singh.
Rizal, who is the 21st prosecution witness, is testifying in the trial of the wife of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings ex-managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.
Rizal had earlier testified, that in 2012 and on Rosmah’s instruction, he set up the cybertroopers whose task was to monitor the social media content and to fend off and provide explanation for every slander and accusations made against her.
The witness, who worked for Rosmah between May 1, 2009 and May 2018 under the F.L.O.M (First Lady of Malaysia) Division which was later renamed as Special Division, said, the cybertroopers team operated with funds given by Rosmah, who gave him RM100,000 in cash every month for the purpose.
Jagjit asserted that the RM100,000 monthly budget came from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) directed to the F.L.O.M, and not directly from Rosmah, which Rizal disagreed.
Rizal: I don’t know the source, but I collect the money from her (Rosmah).
Jagjit: The money never came personally from her (Rosmah) bank account?.
Rizal: I cannot confirm.
The lawyer further asserted that Rizal did not issue any receipt as proof of payments that were made to the cybertroopers, which the prosecution key witness agreed.
Jagjit then suggested that the reason the receipt was not issued was because Rizal pocketed most of the monies for himself, which the witness disagreed.
Jagjit: There were cybertroopers who claimed that you did not pay them, you took large portion of it for your personal use on monthly basis.
Rizal: I don’t agree.
Jagjit: I put it to you, there would have been no need to set up cybertroopers team if you did your job well.
Rizal: It was subjective.
Jagjit: I put it to you, you failed in your duty because you solicited corrupt monies for personal use to support your lavish lifestyle.
Rizal: I don’t agree.
Rosmah, 68, was alleged to have received the bribes through Rizal as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project, as well as the maintenance and operation of diesel gen-sets, for 369 Sarawak rural schools worth RM1.25 billion from the Education Ministry through direct negotiation.
The offences were allegedly committed at Lygon Cafe, Sunway Putra Mall, Jalan Putra here; Rosmah’s residence at Jalan Langgak Duta, Taman Duta and at Seri Perdana, Persiaran Seri Perdana, Precinct 10, Putrajaya between January 2016 and Sept 2017.
The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues.
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