I was told that SRC was ‘PM’s company’, ministry staff tells court

Afidah Azwa Abdul Aziz, a deputy secretary in the finance ministry’s strategic investment department.

KUALA LUMPUR: A staff member at the finance ministry told the High Court in Najib Razak’s corruption and abuse of power trial today that she was ordered to prepare Cabinet papers on giving a second government guarantee to SRC International Sdn Bhd as it was the “PM’s company”.

Afidah Azwa Abdul Aziz, a deputy secretary in the ministry’s strategic investment department, said her former supervisor Maliami Hamad told her this when she questioned the rush to prepare the papers on Aug 15, 2011.

She said the papers for the second government guarantee, which were a memorandum for a Cabinet meeting, were prepared after she met with SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, employee Zahid Taib, and two other staff members.

“He (Maliami) told me it was ‘orders from above’ and ‘the PM’s company’,” she said when asked by deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim if she had questioned the need to prepare the papers on the day itself.

However, Najib’s lawyer Yusof Zainal Abiden objected to this, calling it hearsay evidence.

“She already told the court that she accepted her boss’ orders and did what she was told. That’s the end of it,” he said.

Fiat prosecutor V Sithambaran meanwhile told the court that Suhaimi had asked the question as a follow-up to an earlier query by fellow lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

“This objection was deliberately done as the evidence does not favour the defence team, and it is ridiculous,” he added.

He also said the prosecution would call Maliami to testify in court as well.

High Court judge Nazlan Ghazali said he would allow Afidah’s answer as she was only repeating what she had heard from her former boss.

Najib is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering over SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million.

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 in Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015.

The hearing continues before Nazlan.