RM600m spent in 3 years — is cash really king?

A total of RM606.5m was credited into 3 of Najib’s AmBank accounts and was used between 2013 and 2015


FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, who was dubbed as “Optimus Prime” by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, had allegedly spent RM606.51 million in the span of three years, according to an ex-banker last Monday.

Former AmBank manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping told the Kuala Lumpur High Court during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaran, that the total amount was credited into three of Najib’s accounts and was used between 2013 and 2015.

In short, an average of RM16.85 million could be spent each month, which is about RM561,583 per day — more than the salary of the highest- remunerated CEO in the country, who reportedly earns about RM14 million monthly. The Malaysian Reserve takes a look at some of the essential items one could invest in with that amount of money.


The total amount of RM606 million could be used to buy two affordable houses (each at around RM280,000) per day. That means, 10 million people could easily be proud owners of a modest home each within three years.


Three small airports the size of Batu Berendam Malacca International Airport (MIA) could be built. The RM190 million MIA, which spreads across 6.14 million sq ft, now has the capacity to serve 1.5 million passengers annually.

The government recently announced the expansion of the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kelantan that would utilise about RM483 million. This includes the upgrading of facilities to cater for international routes and airlines to serve the ever-growing number of passengers (in 2015, it served over two million travellers).

The federal government had also announced the upgrading of the 73km Kota Baru-Kuala Krai Expressway from Ketereh to Kok Lanas, which would cost RM229.79 million, and from Kadok to Ketereh for a price tag of RM189.28 million.

Even if one adds another RM144.49 million to build a flyover from Kota Baru to Bulatan Wakaf Baru, Kelantan — which is also part of the plan, there would still be some RM40 million to spare.

The remaining RM40 million can be used to finance two brand new primary schools, akin to the proposed SK Taman Pelangi Semenyih in Selangor that was estimated to cost RM20.7 million, as announced recently by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

As such, the total RM606 million could easily be translated into 30 brand new primary schools that could be built nationwide.


The sum RM606 million could also be used to fund outstanding students to study abroad, a good answer to the cut in scholarships that was made in 2016, as announced by former Minister in the PM’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

She told Parliament at that time the government might save up to RM240 million annually by cutting down on scholarships for 744 Public Service Department (JPA) scholars studying overseas. As of 2016, there were 7,736 students studying abroad under government sponsorship.

Meanwhile, the National Higher Education Fund Corp’s (PTPTN) that is currently saddled with RM6.4 billion worth of non-performing loans by one million debtors, could perhaps use the RM606 million as seed money for future loans for more than 80,000 applicants.

Social Services

Hospital, ambulance and stadiums can also benefit from RM606 million. It was reported that the Shah Alam Hospital, which is labelled as the seconder reference centre with 300 beds, cost about RM550 million to develop. In Kuching, the first phase of KPJ Specialist Hospital was constructed at RM130 million to house 150 beds.

A private ambulance may cost about RM200,000. With RM606 million, more than 3,000 units of ambulance could serve the public.

In April last year, the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council Mini Stadium was completed at a cost of only RM23 million. It has 1,010 seats with the capacity to fill up 5,000 people at one time. The average monthly amount from the total RM606 million could build nine more mini stadiums.

Assuming that a modest gold bracelet is worth RM300, over two million Malaysians can be gifted with a unit each for the total amount of RM606 million.