Witness says Najib ordered Cabinet memorandum to expedite SRC’s govt guarantee

Former ministry official says document was prepared in just 1 day

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

A FORMER high-ranking officer at the Finance Ministry (MoF) said former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak (picture) had instructed for the preparation of a Cabinet memorandum linked to SRC International Sdn Bhd’s government guarantees to be expedited.

Former secretary at the MoF’s financial market and actuarial loan management division Datuk Maliami Hamad testified that he was pressured through intermediaries to speed up the preparation of the paper to be presented in a Cabinet meeting on Aug 17, 2011.

The document was prepared to gain Cabinet approval for the government guarantee of SRC International’s first RM2 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Inc in 2011.

Maliami said it was prepared in just one day after a meeting on the same day between MoF and representatives from SRC International, including the latter’s ex-CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.

The prosecution’s 43rd witness said by law, such a document would be prepared in 14 days.

“Time was limited. The directives to expedite the preparation of the Cabinet memorandum not only came from SRC International, but also from the (then) Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, whom I know had received instructions from Najib,” Maliami told the High Court yesterday.

Maliami said he received a similar instruction from Najib’s principal private secretary, the late Datuk Seri Azlin Alias.

For the second RM2 billion facility, Maliami said he had instructed his subordinate Afidah Azwa to prepare an internal complimentary memo draft dated Feb 2, 2012, to escalate a Cabinet memorandum for Cabinet ministers to consider giving a government guarantee for the additional RM2 billion loan.

He added that the Cabinet memorandum was escalated to the former PM directly, bypassing the then Second Minister of Finance Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

“Any Cabinet memorandum would be escalated to the second finance minister for consideration and signature. But for this memorandum, it was directed straight to the PM cum finance minister,” Maliami said.

For both Cabinet memoranda in 2011 and 2012, Maliami said he told Afidah that SRC International was given special attention by the PM and the needs of the credit facilities were urgent.

Meanwhile, SRC International ex-director Datuk Suboh Md Yasin testified that Nik Faisal’s signatures may have been forged, as what had happened with his own.

During re-examination, the prosecutors showed Suboh several Real-time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities System (RENTAS) forms which had identical copies of Nik Faisal’s signatures.

“It could mean Nik Faisal did not sign the documents. Do you agree? It looked like Nik Faisal’s signatures were also copied and pasted, just like yours?” deputy public prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram asked in the trial, in which Suboh replied in affirmative.

Suboh also testified that the RENTAS forms had been verified by the company’s CFO See Yoke Peng, as seen on the documents.

On Day 33 of the trial, Suboh said neither SRC International nor its wholly-owned subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd had lodged any reports on stolen funds or initiated legal action against the bank involved in the transfers.

The prosecutor’s 42nd witness also testified that none of the monies were credited into his or Nik Faisal’s bank accounts.

The 68-year-old corporate figure said he has no knowledge about Najib’s accounts relationship managers.