KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was told that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) asked for a RM3bil grant from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) to set up its subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd, but failed to secure the amount.
Instead, it was given RM20mil in launching grant.
Datuk Dr Kamariah Noruddin (pic), 61, who was EPU's former deputy director-general (macro), said the Finance Ministry received a letter for the application dated Aug 27, 2010 from 1MDB.
"Basically, the letter was an application for a RM3bil in funds to set up SRC, which was a special vehicle in order to maintain the strategic state, production, logistic and trading in key resource areas like oil and gas, coal, iron, among others," she said here on Thursday (April 2).
1MDB's managing director Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi signed the letter, she added.
The witness said it was a difficult application to process as it was out of the ordinary.
"It was an application by 1MDB to the (then) finance minister and prime minister (Najib), which was then forwarded (to the EPU)," she said.
Her then-superior Datuk Noriah Ahmad asked her to go through the application.
She said Noriah had also received a directive from then-minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop (photo), who oversaw the EPU, to prepare comments for the application.
"I prepared a memo which was addressed to Najib through Nor Mohamed Yakcop and signed by Noriah," she said.
Dr Kamariah said in the memo, EPU supported 1MDB's proposal to start SRC for the purpose of securing coal and uranium.
"However, we did not support the proposal for oil and gas as that purpose was already led by Petronas.
"For steel and aluminium, it was proposed that we continued allowing the private sector to run it.
“Therefore we did not support the RM3bil grant," she said.
Dr Kamariah said the EPU nonetheless still helped the establishment of SRC with a RM20mil launching grant.
"The RM20mil was just to establish the company. Maybe they needed to get the talent they required and for them to do due diligence," she said.
The hearing continues this afternoon before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
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