KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd (IPSB) managing director testified today that the additional RM302 million IPSB received for corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in 2013 merely coincided with the 13th general election.
Testifying as the 37th prosecution witness during former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, IPSB managing director Datuk Dr Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman said the additional funding came from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) when cross-examined by Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh.
Harvinderjit: “It is just coincidence that it was the election year and has no connection to you (IPSB) receiving funds?”
Dr Shamsul: “Yes”.
Dr Shamsul Anwar was asked to clarify his testimony in court, saying that IPSB recorded an increase in additional funding for the period of 2012/2013 compared to 2011/2012 because of GE13 that was held in May 2013.
According to IPSB’s financial statement shown to the High Court previously, IPSB only received additional funding around RM62 million in 2012.
He also told the court previously that IPSB received RM40 million in annual grants from Yayasan 1MDB and YR1M to conduct CSR programmes exclusively in areas held by Barisan Nasional (BN) or Umno under a signed agreement.
Among the CSR projects undertaken by IPSB were targeted towards the poor, Orang Asli, disaster victims, fishermen and school children nationwide.
Harvinderjit then asked if the funding was not only spent on BN-held constituencies but also Opposition-held areas, to which Dr Shamsul replied in the affirmative.
He also said Umno or BN flags were not displayed in those CSR projects, nor were these projects called “BN projects”.
“We never put that. For some houses, we just put ‘projek Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.’ But some houses don’t want that.”
Highlighting one out of the nine CSR projects that IPSB undertook named Nadi Kasih (house repair project for the poor) that was allocated RM78.5 million in 2013, Harvinderjit then asked Dr Shamsul where the project was conducted.
Dr Shamsul replied that the project was done throughout the country, including Sabah, Sarawak, and Opposition-held states like Kelantan and Penang.
He said there were no directives to only focus on BN-held states.
Prior to GE13 in May 2013, Penang and Kelantan were both Opposition-administered states in the country.
Najib is currently on trial over seven charges including money laundering and criminal breach of trust over the RM42 million belonging to former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.