KUALA LUMPUR: It was Malaysia who sought financial aid from Saudi Arabia, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (pic) told the High Court here on Tuesday (Feb 11).
The former minister in the Prime Minister's Department said this during cross-examination by lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram at the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, where Datuk Seri Najib Razak is facing charges involving the misappropriation of the company's RM42mil funds here.
Sithambaram: Referring to your witness statement on the financial aid from Saudi. Did we, through the prime minister then, ask for a donation from Saudi or did Saudi offer the donation to us?
Jamil Khir: What we know is that it was an application.
The witness, however, said the matter was not discussed at Cabinet level.
Sithambaram: Do you know why an important matter such as the prime minister asking for help from a foreign country, was not discussed at the Cabinet?
Jamil Khir: As far as I know there was none.
Sithambaram then repeated his question, and Jamil Khir replied he was unsure why a discussion was not held.
This prompted Sithambaram to say that if the matter was indeed discussed by the Cabinet, as a minister, Jamil Khir should have remembered it.
"That is why I said I am unsure," Jamil Khir replied.
Sithambaram: But I'm saying you should have remembered this.
Jamil Khir: I am not sure.
Sithambaram: Was the public informed that Saudi gave a donation to Najib to win the 2013 general election?
Jamil Khir: As far as I remember, no.
During re-examination by Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Jamil Khir said the money from Saudi was considered a personal contribution.
"I assume a personal contribution is allowed within the legal provisions of the country. Maybe that is why it was not discussed," he added.
Najib is facing seven charges – three for criminal breach of trust, one for abuse of power and three for money laundering involving SRC International funds totalling RM42mil.
The hearing before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali resumes on Thursday (Feb 13).