‘Najib told KWAP to up RM1bil loan to RM2bil’


Facing the court: Dr Wan Abdul Aziz testified at Najib’s corruption trial.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard that a loan for SRC Inter­national Sdn Bhd from Retire­ment Fund Incorporated (KWAP) was initially approved for RM1bil, but Datuk Seri Najib Razak had asked for the amount to be increased to RM2bil.

SRC International had originally applied for a RM3.95bil loan, but only RM1bil was approved.

Former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, who was testifying at Najib’s corruption trial on the misappropriation of RM42mil in SRC International funds, said Najib had made the request to him in a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office.The witness, who read from a statement, said the former prime minister also asked him to hasten the approval for the loan application.“Najib said a RM2bil loan was sufficient and not RM1bil,” Dr Wan Abdul Aziz said.

However, he could not remember the exact date of the meeting and did not make any notes on Najib’s instructions.

“After the meeting, I informed KWAP chief executive officer Datuk Azian Mohd Noh about Najib’s instruction to rush the approval process for the RM2bil amount.

“I would like to state here that if there was no communication bet­ween Najib and me on the loan from KWAP to SRC International, the investment panel would have stuck with approving the RM1bil loan as per the consideration and approval of the panel,” he said.

He added that the investment panel was informed of the meeting between him and Najib, and the details were noted in the minutes.

On the loan, he said SRC Inter­national had earlier applied for the approval of a RM3.95bil loan from KWAP through a letter addressed to Najib, signed by former SRC Inter­national Sdn Bhd CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and dated June 3, 2011.

After evaluating the application, KWAP agreed to a sum of RM1bil.

“The amount was agreed on after considering the concentration risk as RM3.95bil was a huge amount to be concentrated on one industry and one company,” he said.

The court was also told that Najib had ordered KWAP to disburse the loan to SRC International before a Federal Government guarantee was issued.

Dr Wan Abdul Aziz said he received the instruction from Najib through a phone call, but he could not remember the date of the call.

To a question by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim, Dr Wan Abdul Aziz said former Finance Ministry loan management, financial market and actuary division secretary Datuk Maliami Hamad knew about the phone call.

“I told him (Maliami) that Najib had ordered the Finance Ministry to issue a letter for the disbursement.

“I asked Maliami to issue the letter the same day the call was made,” he added.

The witness said it was “out of the ordinary” for a loan to be disbursed before the issuance of a government guarantee.

The extraordinary instruction was still executed because the government, through the Cabinet, had approved the loan and was its guarantor, he said, adding: “It was just a matter of waiting for the guarantee letter to be issued.”

The hearing before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues today.


   

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