I resigned as I did not agree with CEO: Witness

10 Jun 2019 / 18:40 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: A former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) non-executive director told the High Court here that he resigned from SRC International Sdn Bhd as he did not agree with the CEO’s management of the company’s accounts and finance.

Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, 54, who was a member of SRC International’s board of directors said while reading out his witness statement today that he submitted his letter of resignation on May 6, 2014, and officially resigned on Aug 15, 2014.

“During the period between May and August, I was no longer active in the management of SRC.

“I resigned because I did not agree with Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil’s management particularly of the company’s accounts and finance,“ he said in the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff on the 21st day of the trial of Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

The former prime minister is accused of misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International.

Ismee as the 39th witness also said most of SRC’s moves were initiated by Nik Faisal in that he would submit working papers to the board of directors for a decision and followed up on every project executed by the company.

According to him, the SRC board of directors must seek the advice of the company’s Advisor Emeritus, namely Najib before it could make any decision.

“If a matter needed to be brought to his (Najib) attention, it would be done by Nik Faisal alone by virtue of his being the ‘link’ between the SRC board of directors and Najib.

“Nik Faisal alone would report any discussion or decision related to SRC to Najib,“ he said.

Ismee, who is also a former CEO and managing director of Tabung Haji said he did raise the issue regarding governance of the company to Nik Faisal.

“Nik Faisal’s usual response was that ‘the matter had been discussed and agreed to by the government’.

“In my opinion, Nik Faisal meant ‘the government’ to be Najib,“ he said.

The witness said matters arising would be brought by Nik Faisal to Najib for discussion and decision.

“I knew too that Najib as prime minister was the one who appointed me as a director of SRC and that he also had the power to sack me.

“I was aware that the absolute power to hire and fire lay with Najib,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Ismee told the court that SRC opened an account with AmIslamic Bank on Aug 23, 2013 for the company’s operations.

“I also signed on the application form to open a bank account for SRC International Sdn Bhd with the number 211-202-201065-0 that was provided by Ambank.

“Besides my own, other signatures were those of other members of SRC’s board of directors, namely, Datuk Suboh Yassin, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, Datuk Che Abdullah@Rashidi and Nik Faisal,“ he said.

Ismee said two board of directors meetings, on Aug 23, 2011 and Feb 14, 2012, were about SRC’s first and second loan applications raised by Nik Faisal.

The witness said those present at the two meetings agreed for the first loan application of RM2 billion and application for an additional loan of the same amount (RM2 billion) from Retirement Fund Incorporated to proceed as both applications were backed by a government letter of guarantee.

“Of the RM4 billion, about RM40 million was used to buy property which was then sold to a subsidiary of SRC, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd (GMSB),“ he said, explaining that GMSB was set up to manage its sale and purchase of property in Bukit Jalil.

Najib, 66, faces three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of power abuse and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds totalling RM42 million.

The trial presided by Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues. — Bernama

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