1MDB trial: Najib told Cabinet not to disclose Arab donation

The 11th prosecution witness says Najib told that the contribution would allow more CSR engagements for those in need


FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak (picture) told the Cabinet not to disclose the purported Arab donations made to 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) charity arm, Yayasan 1MDB, the court heard.

In the 1MDB trial, a witness — former Cabinet deputy secretary general Tan Sri Mazidah Abdul Majid — testified that Najib told a Cabinet meeting on Sept 8, 2010, about the contribution from Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

However, Najib asked for it to be kept secret, claiming it was requested by the donor.

Mazidah said Najib informed the Cabinet that he was having formal and informal engagements with certain Middle East countries’ parties and had garnered positive responses to matters involving Malaysia’s interests.

“Najib informed the Cabinet that Saudi Prince Sultan Abdulaziz Al-Saud had told him that he (the prince) had agreed to contribute to Yayasan 1MDB.

“The first donation had been received and the prince promised to channel the subsequent contributions later. The prince, however, asked for the contribution not to be publicised,” Mazidah told the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday.

The 11th prosecution witness said Najib told the Cabinet that the contribution would allow more corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagements for those in need.

“Cabinet members could then give their views on the CSR projects to execute in October 2010,” she said.

She said the Cabinet agreed not to announce the alleged donation, adding that Najib asked the Cabinet’s views on CSR projects that could be done in October 2010 and to be more creative in finding funds to help the people.

Yesterday, Mazidah verified various Cabinet meeting minutes from as early as April 2009 that involved matters such as the Terengganu Investment Authority, the predecessor of 1MDB before it was taken over by the federal government and turned it into a strategic sovereign investment arm.

Earlier, the 10th prosecution witness, former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman was asked by the judge to undergo the Covid-19 swab test as he was feeling unwell to attend the hearing.

Mohd Hazem previously testified that Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, had the authority to determine who will be 1MDB CEO despite not holding any official position in the company.

He told the court that the 1MDB board would officially take Jho Low’s instructions as coming from the PM’s Office instead of the man himself.

Najib is facing 25 charges in the 1MDB trial — four counts of power abuse to obtain gratifications totalling RM2.3 billion linked to 1MDB and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same proceeds.

The former PM faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, if convicted.

Read our previous report here

Jho Low has the power to decide on 1MDB CEO, says witness