Tuesday, December 10

In my mind, Najib was the government — Witness


KUALA LUMPUR: The 39th prosecution witness in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s trial yesterday said he associated the word “government” with the then prime minister.

SRC International Sdn Bhd board of directors (BoD) former chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, 54, insisted when cross-examined by the accused’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh that Najib, in his mind, was the government.

Referring to his witness statement read on June 10, Ismee said he had once raised the issue of SRC’s governance to former SRC chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, who would always reply that the matters raised had been discussed and agreed by the “government”.

“In my opinion, the ‘government’ that Nik Faisal was referring to was Najib,” he added.

Harvinderjit contended that a prime minister alone could not be reflected as the government as it involved a whole machinery.

Harvinderjit: In August 2011, Nik Faisal said matters in SRC are facilitated by Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Economic Planning Unit (EPU) while the approvals came from Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc).

“If Nik Faisal says these are all decided by the government, you would agree that is not decided by Najib but decided at the government level by either MoF, EPU, or MoF Inc?”

Ismee: We all know the government is the prime minister…

Harvinderjit: But it does not imply the government is the Prime Minister because the government is not only Prime Minister, those decisions should go through the whole machinery.

Ismee: As far as I am concerned, it was the Prime Minister … When the word government is mentioned in our minds (the board) we understood that it referred to the Prime Minister.

The witness also agreed with Harvinderjit’s suggestion that Nik Faisal was dishonest to the board on several matters pertaining to the company’s business.

Harvinderjit: The drawdown of the loan, the transferring out of the loan money from SRC account and eventually the drawdown of the second loan from Kumpulan Wang Persaraan DiPerbadankan (KWAP) was not shown to the board (by Nik Faisal)?

Ismee: No.

Harvinderjit: You agree that it is a serious fraud committed by Nik Faisal?

Ismee: Yes.

Najib, 66, faces three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of power abuse and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds totalling RM42 million.

The trial before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues today. — Bernama