I merely served as 'rubber stamp' in SRC, former director tells court

KUALA LUMPUR: A former SRC International Sdn Bhd director told the High Court here on Thursday (June 20) that he merely served as a "rubber stamp" in SRC International Sdn Bhd to carry out the behest of its advisor emeritus, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, 73, said as a result of this "rubber stamp" modus operandi, he was not in any position to verify if he had signed certain documents or whether his signatures on SRC-related documents had been forged.

"I was not allowed to apply any independent mind in this entirely mechanical process. I note that SRC's former chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil used to bring several documents for me to sign and I would have signed them pursuant to his request.

"This is the same modus operandi in which I was accustomed to act and it applies equally to SRC’s subsidiary companies," said Suboh while reading his witness statement when testifying as a third-party respondent in SRC International’s US$1.18bil civil suit against Najib, and Nik Faisal, who is currently at large.

Suboh suggested that, in hindsight, the SRC board of directors seemed to exist merely to meet some perceived corporate formalities, and they were never intended to be involved in SRC's daily operations, investment plans, or decision-making processes.

"The discretion and powers of the board of directors appear in hindsight to have been divested and reduced to a process of minimal oversight and giving feedback and at times caution to the management, but whether such caution was heeded by the management is not known," said Suboh.

Meanwhile, during cross-examination by Najib's counsel Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, Suboh said it was entirely possible that Nik Faisal was hiding certain things when he failed to submit the SRC's account for the financial year 2013 to the Companies Commission of Malaysia in October 2013.

Muhammad Farhan: That was quite an obvious misrepresentation on Nik Faisal's part. You would know because you signed the audited statement.

Suboh: I did sign but I don't remember the details.

Muhammad Farhan: Based on this, do you agree this would be an example of Nik Faisal's dishonesty when he represented certain things to the board?

Suboh: That I do not know but it is entirely possible.

The trial before Judge Datuk Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin continues on June 24.

Under new management, SRC filed the suit in May 2021, claiming that Najib had committed a breach of trust and abuse of power, personally benefited from the company’s funds, and misappropriated the said funds.

It also seeks a court declaration holding Najib responsible for the company's losses due to his breach of duties and trust, and for Najib to repay the RM42 million in losses the company incurred. - Bernama

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