‘SRC investments only good on paper’

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 08 May 2019

Day in court: Najib speaking to his friend during a break at the Kuala Lumpur High Court. — AP

KUALA LUMPUR: The SRC Inter­na­tional Sdn Bhd’s proposal on its future investments was merely superficial and looked good only on paper, the High Court heard.

Witness Amirul Imran Ahmat, 39, testified that two former directors of SRC International – Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Terence Geh and another person Zahid Taib always chose not to talk about the RM2bil investment during their meetings with Retire­ment Fund Incorporated (KWAP) Investment board.

He said everything looked good on paper but in reality, it had no merits.

When asked who Zahid was, the witness described Zahid Taib as the “multipurpose guy” for Nik Faisal.

The former assistant vice-president (Fixed Income Department) at KWAP was cross-examined by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh in the corruption trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak here yesterday.

Harvinderjit: Can I say that these people, Nik Faisal, Geh and Zahid always had the air of confidence that this investment will succeed?

Amirul: No, they always chose not to talk about it directly when met face-to-face.

Harvinderjit: Can I say that these presentations shared by SRC In­­ternational about its future investment looked very impressive on paper?

Amirul: Yes.

Harvinderjit: Do they have the confidence that SRC will be the world leader on natural resources?

Amirul: No.

The witness said Nik Faisal, Geh and Zahid attended at least four to five meetings with KWAP after applying for extra RM2bil loans from the retirement fund to justify the additional monies.

KWAP had approved RM2bil finan­cing to SRC International in 2011 following the company’s request for RM3.95bil.

In 2012, SRC requested another RM2bil loan from KWAP which was approved.

He also told the court he had proposed a higher interest rate for the second RM2bil loan.

Harvinderjit: Why did you propose a higher interest rate?

Amirul: We were hoping to push them out (from the loan application).

Harvinderjit: You hoped that they will say no? (to the second RM2bil loan)

Amirul: Yes.

The court was told that Amirul proposed a 4.6% interest rate per annum, higher than those imposed by Khaza­nah Nasional Bhd and Malaysian Government Securities.

Amirul also said that the only “selling point” of SRC’s loan application to KWAP was it being government guaranteed.

The witness also agreed to Harvinderjit’s suggestion that the RM2bil single drawdown loan made to SRC was the largest fund that had been approved during his three years and four months tenure in KWAP.

“But it may not have been the lar­gest since KWAP was incorporated,” he added.

Earlier, the witness testified that SRC International had asked KWAP to change the proposed second RM2bil credit facility via progress payment to be made in a single payment (lump sum).

Najib, 66, is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of power abuse and three counts of money laundering involving SRC funds totalling RM42mil.

The cross-examination continues before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali today.

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