Follow Najib’s advice, otherwise resign or be removed: Witness

18 Jun 2019 / 22:49 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today was told that members of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s board of directors (BoD) who refused to abide by minutes containing advice from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak would be removed or asked to resign.

This was revealed by SRC former board chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, 54, during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff on the 27th day of Najib’s trial in relation to RM42 million of SRC’s funds.

Ishak: Earlier Tan Sri said the BoD followed the shareholder (meeting) minutes. What were the consequences if the BoD failed to abide by the shareholder minutes?

Ismee: It is hypothetical now. Either the board members would have to step down or we would be removed.

Najib was the advisor emeritus of SRC International.

When re-examined by ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaran, the witness said there was no statement taken by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) over the issue of forged signature in a document.

Sithambaran: Are you aware if Najib or anyone had lodged a police report about a forged signature in ID 503 (resolution)?

Ismee: I’m not aware.

Meanwhile, when cross-examined by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the witness said he never met Najib to discuss the problems faced by the company.

Ismee said the matter was only conveyed to Najib’s former special officer, (the late) Datuk Azlin Alias, when he submitted his resignation letter.

In answering Muhammad Shafee’s question on whether he had given any information to the former prime minister for further action, Ismee replied “No.”

Muhammad Shafee: None of you went up to inform Najib?

Ismee: Yes, as far as I am concerned.

To another question, Ismee said he would not have accepted the appointment to become a board member if he knew about issues of dishonesty concerning the company’s then CEO, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.

Muhammad Shafee: Do you agree that the honesty of the CEO is the most important thing for the board to function?

Ismee: Yes.

Muhammad Shafee: The board can’t function (without the honesty of the CEO)?

Ismee: Yes.

Muhammad Shafee: You have no difficulty with the board. But trusting Nik Faisal ... you had no issue trusting him at the time?

Ismee: No.

Muhammad Shafee: It’s accurate to say that today you have a different view of Nik Faisal, after much exposure. We have shown you documents, proof.

Ismee: Yes.

Quite unexpectedly the name of American singer and actress J. Lo or Jennifer Lopez cropped up.

“It is Jho Low not J. Lo”, Muhammad Shafee had to correct Sithambaran when he pronounced it as the latter.

To Sithambaran’s question, the witness said Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, was not appointed to any position in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Sithambaran: Yesterday, my learned friend Harvinderjit Singh asked you some questions, and I want to ask you again just to clarify. He asked you whether Jerome Lee, Terrence Geh and Nik Faisal were close associates of Jho Low. And you say now you know that they are (close associates)? Ismee replied “Yes.”

Sithambaran: What was the designation of Najib in 1MDB?

Ismee: Chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers.

Sithambaran: Is Najib a close associate of Jho Low ?

Ismee: I wouldn’t know.

Ismee, who appeared relaxed during the proceeding, even joked with Sithambaran asking “You asked about J. Lo or Jho Low?”

It drew laughter from media practitioners and the public in the courtroom.

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 before justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues. — Bernama

email blast