KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today was told that Economic Planning Unit (EPU) refused to approve a proposal by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) for a RM3 billion grant as it would have amounted to negligence because the company SRC International Sdn Bhd had not been formed.
EPU former director-general Datuk Dr Kamariah Noruddin said the proposal by 1MDB to apply for a RM3 billion grant to set up SRC International Sdn Bhd was not approved as that would be 7% of the RM42 billion allocation for the country’s development annually.
Kamariah also described the proposal as ‘unusual’ as it was only a three-page letter during re-examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s trial before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
“It is in reality, we could not at that juncture, provide the grant as requested. We do not have the privilege to grant a huge budget to a company that has not been formed.
“Moreover, the RM3 billion allocation amounts to 7% of the entire development grant budget for the whole nation.
“At that point of time, the annual allocation for the purpose was only RM42 billion,“ she said.
During cross-examination by Najib’s defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, she said the EPU also took the matter seriously as there were internal discussions and the proposal was shared within the EPU industry section.
Muhammad Shafee: Was this a serious proposal and not only a some kind of scheme?
Kamariah: It was serious as it was also submitted to the Prime Minister.
Muhammad Shafee: So this was a serious proposal?
Prior to that, the 28th prosecution witness said the grant application proposal was made by 1MDB to the Finance Minister, which was to be submitted to EPU further action.
The trial before Justice Mohd Nazlan continues on Monday. — Bernama