Another day of hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday (May 2, 2019), another Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) long-standing lie on former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak exposed.
A PH-manufactured myth that Najib had abused his premiership power and misused his position to manipulate 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) for his selfish gains was torn apart in shreds by the testimony of the trial’s 28th witness Datuk Dr Kamariah Noruddin.
The former Economic Planning Unit (EPU) deputy director-general (macro) of the Prime Minister’s Department told the court that Najib agreed with EPU’s recommendation to provide a mere RM20 million grant to 1MDB to set up a strategic resources company namely SRC International Sdn Bhd.
The grant of RM20 million was by far peanuts compared with the RM3 billion the government-link company (GLC) CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi had requested from the government.
Kamariah, who was the director of EPU’s Energy Section in 2010, indicated that Najib raised no objection to EPU’s recommendation, neither did he overrule the unit’s decision.
Najib received an official application dated August 24, 2010, from 1MDB to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to explore the alternate energy resource sector, namely coal, petroleum and uranium.
The state wealth fund has applied for an RM3 billion grant to set up the SPV, namely SRC International.
1MDB has submitted the application to Najib in his capacity as the Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
Najib, instead of using (or misusing) his vast executive powers, referred the application to Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who was then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the EPU, for a decision.
EPU then replied to Najib in a memo dated October 12, 2010, with several recommendations on 1MDB’s proposal.
Although it agreed with the setting up of SRC International as it was in line with the National Energy Policy and the 10th Malaysia Plan (MP10), EPU rejected 1MDB’s request for RM3 billion grant.
EPU recommendation was to give only RM20 million to 1MDB, which was duly agreed by Najib.
Najib has even minuted his agreement to EPU’s recommendations on the memo after receiving it on October 15, 2010.
EPU issued an official reply letter dated November 10, 2010 on the matter to 1MDB.
During cross-examination by the defence, Kamariah, 61, testified that EPU had always functioned independently, evaluating merits of all applications by government departments and agencies.
To a question by the defence, she agreed that “the minute by Datuk Seri Najib (to EPU) was not an instruction but for EPU to look into the matter and come up with recommendations.”
She agreed to another suggestion that EPU’s meeting to deliberate on the 1MDB’s proposal was conducted in accordance with procedures.
Late last week and early this week, the trial’s 21st prosecution witness R. Umma Devi made startling revelations in her testimony on irregularities found with the signatures on several letters of transfer instruction pertaining to transactions of money involving SRC International accounts in AmBank.
The AmBank Raja Chulan branch manager also revealed that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) consented to transfers of foreign political funds worth billions into Najib’s accounts in the bank.
She also revealed that BNM never raised red alert flags on any of the transactions that took place in Najib’s accounts, even though there were some 40 overdrawn transactions worth RM5 million to RM7 million at times.
There were also cash deposits, worth RM1.5 million at times, made into Najib’s accounts.
“But BNM never raised any red alert flag.”
Najib is facing seven charges related to abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42mil belonging to SRC International.
The hearing continues on Monday, May 6, 2019, before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
Meanwhile, the trial, which was originally fixed to start on April 3, 2019, and end on May 10, 2019, has now been rescheduled to conclude in August this year.