Ex-SRC boss tells of hidden meaning of the word ‘advice’

Najib Razak (centre) is on trial in the High Court on charges of embezzlement, abuse of power and money-laundering.

KUALA LUMPUR: The former chairman of SRC International Sdn Bhd, Ismee Ismail, maintained his stand that the board of directors had to get the approval of Najib Razak for any decisions by the company.

Ismee, the 39th prosecution witness, said he was of the opinion that the “hidden” meanings of the word “advice” from Najib, would also include approval as stated in SRC’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. Najib was advisor emeritus of SRC

To this, lawyer Harvinderjit Singh representing Najib replied that the Memorandum and Articles of Association did not state that the board needed approval from the prime minister.

The lawyer also argued that there was nothing in the company’s M&A to suggest that the board has to get Najib’s approval.

“It is the company act, it did not say direction or approval. That is why I say, by the language in the Article, the word (advice) is tersirat (hidden),” said Ismee when cross-examined by Harvinderjit in Najib’s SRC trial before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Harvinderjit: It cannot say tersirat because everything is there. Nothing is tersurat, sorry nothing is tersirat. Where is tersirat coming from

Ismee: If you saw the Article…

At this juncture, ad-hoc prosecutor V. Sithambaram objected, saying that the defence could not argue the answer from the witness but should let the witness answer the question to which Harvinderjit moved to another question.

Ismee had previously testified that the SRC’s board still has to get Najib’s approval over the company’s operations.

The trial continues tomorrow. Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is scheduled to cross-examine Ismee who appeared calm during five days of questioning by Harvinderjit.

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