MoF Inc had no one overseeing SRC, says witness

Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: SRC International Sdn Bhd did not have a representative of the Minister of Finance Incorporated although SRC International was a wholly-owned government company, the High Court was told today in the trial of Najib Razak on corruption and criminal breach of trust charges.

Fauziah Yaacob, a former deputy secretary-general at the Treasury, said an MoF Inc agent would usually be a director on the company’s board to oversee its business direction.

“In SRC’s case we did not have a MoF Inc representative and they did not give us any information about their operations,” she said when examined by deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim.

The 53rd witnesss, who was responsible for the investment portfolio in the Treasury for three years until her retirement in July 2015, said there were about 120 government-linked companies in MoF Inc’s stable.

Fauziah said on March 3, 2015 she submitted a memorandum to appoint MoF Inc senior officer Mohmad Isa Hussain as a director of SRC. This was agreed upon by the then Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah.

“He agreed to my proposal in a letter dated March 9, 2015,” Fauziah said, adding that she was not aware of any appointment being made until she retired.

Cross examined by Najib’s counsel Harvinderjit Singh, Fauziah said she was unaware  that Najib had appointed Mat Noor Nawi, a former deputy secretary-general at the Treasury, as SRC adviser.

“But one of the ways to be involved in a government-linked company is to be appointed as adviser,” she said.

Mat Noor, 64, had earlier told the court Najib had appointed him to oversee SRC but he was now unable to locate the appointment letter.

He said he was not sure of his exact role in SRC but believed it was to “merely advise” the company’s then chief executive Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.

“In fact, I had called Nik Faisal on two occasions to brief me about SRC’s planned business activities,” he said.

Ex-SRC chairman Ismee Ismail said that Najib, in his capacity as finance minister and adviser emeritus of SRC, had full control of the company.

He said the board was bypassed as Najib only gave instructions to Nik Faisal to execute decisions.

Najib is being tried on six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust involving a 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 a RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International.

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

SRC was placed under MoF Inc from Feb 14, 2012 after it obtained the first tranche of a RM2 billion loan in 2011 from KWAP.

The hearing before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues on Monday.