Top-down orders were top priority for SRC International when Najib was boss, court told

Former Finance Ministry secretary Datuk Maliami Hamad arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex July 9, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Former Finance Ministry secretary Datuk Maliami Hamad arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex July 9, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — The government guarantees given to SRC International Sdn Bhd for its RM4 billion loan between 2011 and 2012 had to be executed no matter what as it was a top-down decision, the High Court was told during Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial today.

The Finance Ministry’s Loan Management, Financial Market and Actuary Division former secretary Datuk Maliami Hamad testified that the process of giving government guarantees was usually from the bottom to the top, but differed in SRC International’s case.

“In a normal process, it is from the bottom to the top but in SRC’s case it was from top to bottom.

“This means any initiative or decisions principally have been decided at the top management level with the decision relayed to the subordinates under to be executed,” he said during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim here.

When Suhaimi asked if this meant that there was no other option but to execute the decisions, Maliami replied in the affirmative.

Maliami previously testified that he received verbal instructions via then Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah and Najib’s ex-aide Datuk Azlin Alias to expedite the federal guarantee of SRC International’s first RM2 billion loan in August 2011.

He was then shown an application letter from SRC International for the first government guarantee that was addressed to the prime minister.

The letter dated August 12, 2011 was made available to Maliami by SRC International managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil when the latter visited the Finance Ministry to discuss the urgent need of the government guarantee for investment purposes.

Suhaimi: Who was at the top based on the letter you received from Nik Faisal?

Maliami: The prime minister is the one at the top.

Najib was both prime minister and finance minister at the time.

Maliami is the 43rd prosecution witness of Najib’s ongoing trial involving seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering over RM42 million of SRC International’s funds.

Maliami and his department were also responsible for the preparation of the two government guarantees given to SRC International for its RM4 billion loan obtained from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) in August 2011 and February 2012.

This is despite the fact that SRC International only submitted a single paragraph to the Finance Ministry when it applied for a government guarantee for the first RM2 billion loan from KWAP.

The hearing before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali resumes at 9am tomorrow.