KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur High Court today yet again heard that former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak didn’t exert any pressure to secure billion-ringgit loans for SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) former chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Azian Mohd Noh testified that she never considered Najib’s supporting note minuted on loan applications by SRC International as an “instruction”.
“I definitely did not take it as an instruction,” she testified at Najib’s trial in Kuala Lumpur High Court on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.
“When Najib as PM says he was agreeable to the proposal means that he was agreeable for KWAP to give the loans to SRC,” the prosecution’s 38th witness added.
She said all KWAP employees had a fiduciary duty to fulfill, hence strict compliance to internal rules and regulations shall be observed.
As with earlier three other witnesses from KWAP who had testified at the trial, Azian reiterated that the Investment Panel was not bound by any body or person in its decision-making process.
Under Section 14.3 of the Retirement Funds Act 2007, any Investment Panel member suspected to have been under outside influence in the decision-making process would be liable for a crime.
One can be fined up to a RM2 million fine or maximum 10 years imprisonment, or both, if found guilty by the court.
Given KWAP practises an open door policy, any staff could lodge a complaint to the agency’s top brass if they were unhappy with any decision made by its management.
In the case of SRC International’s loan approval, there was none.
SRC International had submitted its application on June 3, 2011 to then Prime Minister and Finance Minister 1, Najib, who had minuted his agreement on June 5, 2011, for the loan before forwarding it to KWAP for consideration.
Earlier Azian testified before presiding Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that she had met Najib’s principal private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias, at a hotel in KL Sentral sometime in June 2011 regarding SRC’s loan application.
Azlin then had given her a letter, which was signed by SRC director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil addressed to Najib, seeking for a loan of RM3.95 billion.
Azian said when later she showed the letter to KWAP chairman Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, she was told to study the proposal and bring it up to KWAP’s investment panel for deliberation.
She was also told that Najib had spoken to Wan Abdul Aziz about it and requested for KWAP to expedite the process to approve the loan.
Najib had told Wan Abdul Aziz he was agreeable to a RM2 billion loan, lesser that the amount sought by SRC International.
After much discussion, several investment papers drafted and SRC secured a government guarantee, KWAP agreed to give the first loan of RM2 billion on Aug 26, 2011 after an agreement was signed.
The then Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah signed the agreed government guarantee for the loan.
SRC also sought another additional RM2 billion loan from KWAP, which was also supported by Najib.
The application was approved on March 27, 2012, when the facility agreement and government guarantee was signed.
Azian signed the agreement on behalf of KWAP while SRC director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin signed on behalf of SRC for KWAP to give SRC a general investment loan and working capital.
SRC International, a subsidiary under 1MDB then, had sought the loan then to facilitate its imminent investments into alternate energy resources sector.
KWAP’s total RM4 billion loan to SRC was still in effect and had not been terminated. – NTHQiBord, 29 Mei 2019