KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — A former SRC International director alleged today that then-CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had ordered him to leave the country after the 14th general election to avoid investigations, since it involved former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, the prosecution’s 42nd witness in Najib’s RM42 million SRC International corruption trial, revealed how he declined to give in to Nik Faisal’s alleged requests to abscond and instead chose to remain in Malaysia after the change in government to assist investigations.
Suboh, during examination in chief by Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff at Najib’s trial in the High Court here today, related the contents of his telephone conversation with Nik Faisal, which he said had occurred some time last year.
Ishak: “When was the call (by Nik Faisal) made?”
Suboh: “If I am not mistaken, it was after the general elections”.
Ishak: “And what was your response to him?”
Suboh: “I said to him, ‘You go away, I do not want to be on the run anymore’.”
Earlier, Suboh had testified in court that he was instructed to leave Malaysia in 2015 when he was about to cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigations into SRC International.
He testified that he did so out of fear of his family’s safety, as Najib was the prime minister at that time.
Ishak: “Datuk, you said you felt fear as Datuk Seri Najib was still in power, but why were you afraid of the Prime Minister at that time, did he threaten you?”
Suboh: “At that time Nik Faisal, when he contacted me, he told me Datuk Seri Najib was involved in the SRC International case.”
Echoing previous witness and former SRC International board chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, Suboh’s statement today also touched on how chief executive Nik Faisal was seen the board as the direct link to the Najib, who acted as the company’s advisor emeritus.
Suboh’s statement explained how Nik Faisal would personally escalate any decision of the SRC International’s board of directors to Najib to gain his approval.
“I am of that opinion because there were many times and situations where if there are documents or letters addressed specifically to Datuk Seri Najib, Nik Faisal would say that he would bring the letters and documents himself personally and meet with Datuk Seri Najib,” Suboh read.
Suboh included how he had also made his concerns of due diligence and matters of compliance in SRC International’s daily operations known to Nik Faisal, explaining how the latter would always reply by saying matters had already been approved by the higher-ups.
“In my opinion, the ‘higher-ups’ mentioned by Nik Faisal was referring to Datuk Seri Najib,” he said as he read out his statement in court.
Suboh added that despite being appointed director, he could not make decisions or implement changes as all matters that surfaced would be escalated only by Nik Faisal to Najib.
Last June, it was reported that Suboh had been granted full witness protection by MACC when he turned himself in to their officers in Indonesia after supposedly being on the run for three years.
Reports also noted how Suboh had not cooperated with authorities when he was approached four years ago when Najib was still the prime minister, only recording his statement with MACC after the 14th General Election.
Najib’s trial will resume on July 1 before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.