Najib signed memo to put SRC under govt at airport, says witness

Former Treasury deputy secretary-general Mat Noor Nawi at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today.

KUALA LUMPUR: A retired Treasury official told the High Court in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial today that the former prime minister had signed a draft memo prepared by him to place the company under the Finance Ministry Incorporated (MoF inc).

Mat Noor Nawi, who was formerly a deputy secretary-general at the Treasury, said Najib had conducted the exercise at the waiting room of the Subang RMAF airport on Feb 3, 2012.

“I was surprised as he signed the draft memo prepared by me on the suggestion to place SRC under MoF inc,” he said when examined by deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim.

Mat Noor, the 43rd witness in the trial, said the memo carried neither the finance ministry letterhead nor his signature.

“This shows that the decision to place SRC under MoF Inc was a top-to-bottom exercise,” he said, adding that there would usually be due diligence before a company is placed under the government.

A letter dated Jan 9, 2012 from SRC International director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to Najib was also tendered in court today, with the former proposing among others that the company be placed under MoF Inc.

Najib had written a note in the letter saying that he agreed with Nik Faisal’s proposal.

Mat Noor said the letter was then sent to Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who was a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department at the time.

He said Nor Mohamed later called him and said to place the company under MoF Inc.

“I, too, went along with the proposal as the prime minister and Nor Mohamed were agreeable to the suggestion,” he said, adding that he then prepared the draft memo.

Mat Noor said Nik Faisal’s aide, Zahid Taib, contacted him on Feb 2, 2012, saying Najib wanted to see the draft at the airport the following day.

He said he and Zahid had waited for Najib at the airport waiting room at 8am.

Najib was said to be leaving on an overseas trip at the time.

“He read every page of the draft memo, and to my surprise, he signed the document,” Mat Noor said.

He later went to the finance ministry to meet Najib’s secretary Sheikh Mohd Fuzi and get the prime minister’s official seal.

SRC International, which was initially under 1MDB, was officially placed under MoF Inc on Feb 14, 2012.

Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from the company.

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.

The hearing continues before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.