KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here was told today that daily work at SRC International Sdn Bhd had to be discussed and agreed to by the “higher up”, referring to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak (pix) as the company emeritus adviser.
A former non-executive director of the company, Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, 68, said he used to bring up issues on due diligence and compliance to procedures, but was always assured by the company’s chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil that they were approved by the “higher up”.
“Nik Faisal always responded by saying that the matter had been discussed and approved by the higher up.
“To me, the ‘higher up’ person referred to by Nik Faisal was Datuk Seri Najib,“ he said when reading out his witness statement in Najib’s trial for allegedly misappropriating SRC funds totalling RM42 million.
He referred to the minutes of the SRC Board of Directors’ meeting on Aug 23, 2011, which discussed the proposed investment of the loan from Kumpulan Wang Persaraan Diperbadankan (KWAP) in Abu Dhabi.
One of the board members, Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi said there was no visibility target date, as well as no clear vision for the proposed investment, Suboh said, adding that he concurred with Shahrol and requested for appropriate due diligence to be carried out.
“However, to my knowledge, no action was taken,“ he added.
He also referred to the minutes of the SRC Board of Directors’ meeting on Sept 13, 2011, which he attended.
He said the meeting discussed an investment proposal in Indonesia which was tabled by Nik Faisal.
“I warned and reminded the meeting that the business landscape in Indonesia was different from Malaysia and the SRC had to be cautious to invest there,“ he said, adding that he told the meeting so in his capacity as SRC director and to ensure the company’s funds were invested well.
Suboh said although he was a director, he could not make decision or order for any action to be taken as all matters were handled by Nik Faisal who would bring up the matter to be discussed with and approved by Najib.
He described Nik Faisal as the link between SRC Board of Directors and Najib.
“I knew and was aware that the absolute power to hire and fire members of the SRC Board of Directors was in the hands of Datuk Seri Najib,“ he added.
Although there were actions by SRC that were inappropriate, Suboh said he did not resign as the company director because he felt responsible for the SRC funds that were invested abroad.
“Hence, I remained in the SRC Board of Directors to ensure the funds could be brought back to the country,“ he added.
Najib, 66, is charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42 million.
The hearing was held before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali and continues on July 1. — Bernama