Ahmad Husni’s ‘office boy’ claim ‘is a comedy’, says Najib

04 Dec 2019 / 18:33 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, testifying in his defence in the trial involving SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC) funds, said the claims made by former Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah that he (Ahmad Husni) was treated as an office boy ‘is a comedy’.

Najib, 66, who was also the finance minister and Advisor Emeritus of SRC then, said the accusations of Ahmad Husni were unreasonable as he had been consulted and also approved several important memos as finance minister II (MOF2), including a Finance Ministry memo dated Feb 2, 2012, and a Treasury memo dated Nov 4, 2015, regarding an allocation for a short-term loan given to SRC International in 2015.

“Ahmad Husni’s claims that he was treated like an ‘office boy’ is a comedy, since he signed as finance minister II showed otherwise.

“Datuk Seri (Ahmad) Husni was also present in the Cabinet Meeting on Feb 8, 2012, where the second government guarantee (RM2 billion SRC loan from the Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP)) was approved and he did not raise any issue.

“It is very absurd to say MOF2 (Ahmad Husni) was able to reduce himself to the point of an ‘office boy’, who supposedly only follows instructions and he failed to carry out his responsibilities in his post, if he believed SRC needed to be closely monitored,” he said when testifying under oath from the witness stand to answer to seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million of SRC funds.

To a question by his counsel, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed that Najib has instructed Ahmad Husni to stay out of the SRC and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) affairs, the Pekan MP denied issuing such a directive.

“However, I believe that Datuk Seri Husni finally admitted at the trial that I never used any words to prevent him from performing his duties as a MOF2 and I never told him not to be involved with SRC,” Najib added.

On Ahmad Husni’s claims that he was prevented from going to Switzerland to help sort out things when SRC International funds were frozen by authorities there, Najib said the former was intent on tarnishing Najib’s reputation as he harbours revenge against the former prime minister.

“Datuk Husni asked me informally whether he should go to Switzerland and help to resolve the issue. This was not a formal request.

“Actually, Datuk Husni said he can try to resolve the matter as he knew several individuals in Switzerland who could assist. I told him there was no need for him to go because, in my understanding, there were efforts taken by the SRC to resolve the issue,“ he said.

Asked why Ahmad Husni wanted to take revenge and held a grudge, Najib said he believed this was because the former had been transferred out of MoF to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), and used the witness stand as a stage to voice his grouses (against Najib) openly.

Najib also denied that any decision made by the SRC Board of Directors had to be approved by him and that his directive would be conveyed through Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, then the CEO of SRC.

He also refuted the testimonies of Tan Sri Ismee Ismail (former chairman of the SRC Board) and Datuk Suboh Md Yassin (former SRC non-executive director), respectively, that Nik Faisal was the liaison between Najib and SRC.

“In the limited meeting between Nik Faisal and me, he (Nik Faisal) informed the Board had made decisions regarding investments after in-depth discussions and due diligence was conducted through consultants and external advisors.

“I did not instruct the Board in any way on the same issue. I am not in any position to micro-manage any of the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc) companies including SRC.

“SRC was the only Mof Inc company that was involved in the national interest projects at that time,” Najib said.

“There is no reason for me to direct the SRC Board through Nik Faisal. Now, it is clear that Nik Faisal has played both sides. To me, he said these matters have been decided by the Board, and to the Board of Directors, that I have directed,” Najib added.

The former prime minister said what was surprising was that the other SRC Directors, including Ismee, did not confirm on the matter with him (Najib) and only accepted Nik Faisal’s words entirely, particularly in relation to the company funds.

“Tan Sri Ismee is a corporate man with extensive experience in managing government-linked companies (GLCs). He has my personal (mobile) number to contact and we have met several times. But he never asked me on the matter,” Najib said. - Bernama

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