Ex-1MDB CEO: Genting Sanyen acquisition process executed after approval by Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: The process of acquiring independent power producer Genting Sanyen (M) Sdn Bhd, was executed by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) after approval was received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, in his capacity as Finance Minister, representing MoF Inc in 2012.

The former chief executive officer (CEO) of state-owned sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi (pix), 49, told the High Court today, explaining that during the entire acquisition process called ‘project Greyhound’ and which involved a 100% equity in Mastika Lagenda Sdn Bhd, 1MDB had requested the approval of Najib as both Finance Minister who represented MoF Inc, and as shareholder owning all 1MDB shares.

“He (Najib) was also aware of the approval as he had put his signature on the relevant documents,“ Shahrol Azral said, explaining that the approval received from Najib was in line with section 6 of the Loans Guarantee (Bodies Corporate) Act 1965.

The former CEO was testifying as the ninth witness for the prosecution in the 15th day of trial against Najib, 66, who faces four charges of abusing his position to obtain gratification amounting to RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds, and 21 money laundering charges involving the same amount.

The Pekan MP is alleged to have committed the first four offences at Jalan Raja Chulan branch of AmIslamic Bank Berhad between Feb 24, 2011 and Dec 19, 2014, while the money laundering was committed between Mar 22 and Aug 30, 2013 at the same location.

During examination-in-chief by senior deputy public prosecutor and former federal court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, the witness was referred to a document from the Finance Ministry dated Aug 3, 2012, to which he said it was a letter of approval from Najib in his capacity as Finance Minister, sent to him (Shahrol), in reference to a loan facility not exceeding RM1 billion as well as US$1.75 billion (RM7.3 billion) in bonds, for the acquisition of Genting Sanyen.

The issuance of the bonds was guaranteed by 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), with Goldman Sachs as financial advisor and lawyer Jasmine Loo as representative of the 1MDB investment team, said Shahrol.

He also informed the court that the approval received from Najib followed internal consent within 1MDB comprising approval by the board of directors and “by the 1MDB shareholder comprising MoF Inc which was Najib”.

On a 1MDB directors circular resolution dated Aug 10, 2012 and entitled ‘proposed acquisition of Mastika Lagenda Sdn Bhd’, the witness told the court that it was an approval of the acquisition of Mastika Lagenda which had a 75% shareholding in Genting Sanyen Power Sdn Bhd which owns the Genting Sanyen Kuala Langat Power Station.

The resolution also approved the complete acquisitions of both Mastika Utilities & Services Sdn Bhd and Mastika Water Management Sdn Bhd, with Shahrol given the mandate and responsibility to manage all sale and purchase documentation for the acquisitions.

Hearing before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues, with Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah representing Najib. — Bernama