Najib spent RM156,000 on plumbing, renovating private residence, court told

Former prime minister Najib Razak. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard today that renovation and plumbing works amounting to RM156,500 were carried out at the private residence of Najib Razak in Langgak Duta here.

ABS Trend Master Sdn Bhd received RNM100,000 for carrying out renovation work while Moz Sdn Bhd was paid RM56,500 for carrying out plumbing work, which included building two water tanks. The works were carried out between late 2014 and early 2015.

The money was said to be part of RM10.7 million deposited into former prime minister Najib’s accounts and which allegedly originated from SRC International.

Earlier this morning, AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheque processing manager Badrul Hisam Mohamed said ABS and Moz were among 15 recipients, that included two Barisan Nasional component parties, which received payments from two bank accounts belonging to Najib.

The sixth witness, interior designer Zulkarnain Mohamad, said in late 2014, Najib’s residence manager Amirul Hadi had asked him to do renovation work.

He was asked to build a store house, dry kitchen cloth cabinet and pantry. “I informed Amirul that I was not worthy to undertake the work for the Number One man of the country (then),” he said, referring to Najib.

However, Zulkarnain, the proprietor of ABS, said he finally agreed to undertake the job.

“I went to the house and took measurements and later drew the renovation plan,” he said when examined by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi.

Zulkarnain said he started work sometime in September or October 2014 and completed the work in early 2015.

“I was at the house in the morning and evening and had occasionally seen Najib there,” he said.

Zulkarnain said he was given a cheque (from Najib’s account) for the work performed.

Cross-examined by lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the witness said he would stop work whenever Najib was around as “I did not want to disturb him”.

Plumber Zakaria Zearat Khan, the owner of Moz, said he was asked to carry out plumbing work and build two water tanks due to frequent supply disruption.

“The house is on a hill and the water pressure is low,” the witness said, adding that Syabas had asked him to attend to Najib’s house as he was registered with the company (Syabas).

Zakaria said he liaised with Amirul and quoted RM56,500 to conduct the work. He said he was later issued a cheque (from Najib’s account) for the amount.

Asked what happened to the payment, Zakaria coolly said “clear lah” (money was paid by the bank).

Cross-examined by Shafee, the witness said the tanks were a necessity and not a luxury.

Earlier, the defence submitted that those who allegedly received and spent the money should not be called to testify as his client was only charged with receiving money from illegal proceeds.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, in dismissing the application by the defence, said the evidence of those who received and spent the money was relevant, both under the anti-money laundering law and criminal breach of trust.

Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

He is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.

The Pekan MP was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd on Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015,

Hearing was adjourned to Monday