Najib ordered KWAP to double RM1b loan to SRC International, ex-Treasury sec-gen tells trial

Former Treasury secretary-general, Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex July 10, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Former Treasury secretary-general, Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex July 10, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) only wanted to loan RM1 billion to SRC International Sdn Bhd but Datuk Seri Najib Razak personally gave instructions for the amount to be raised to RM2 billion in 2011, the High Court heard today.

Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah who was at that time the Treasury secretary-general testified in the ex-prime minister’s trial that Najib also instructed him to expedite the loan in a meeting that same year where only the two of them were present.

“He also informed me that an amount of RM2 billion was sufficient for SRC’s loan, but not with an amount of RM1 billion,” the 45th prosecution told the court, but said he did not write down the instructions during those meetings.

Instead, Wan Abdul Aziz said he relayed the instructions from Najib to KWAP’s Investment Panel on July 19, 2011 and that it subsequently approved RM2 billion as SRC International’s first loan.

“I would also like to state here that if there was no communication from Datuk Seri Najib to me concerning SRC’s loan from KWAP, the KWAP Investment Panel would have maintained the approval of a RM1 billion loan only, as initially considered and approved by the KWAP Investment Panel,” he read out his witness statement in the stand.

Wan Abdul Aziz who has also been a former KWAP chairman said SRC International had asked for a RM3.95 billion loan in June 2011.

He said KWAP’s Fixed Income Department initially only wanted to loan RM1 billion to SRC International, citing risks of overconcentration.

The department felt that the requested RM3.95 billion was a large investment for one company in the industry.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex July 10, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex July 10, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

He told the court that a member from the Investment Panel suggested that Najib be told about the significantly smaller approved loan amount, pending additional information from SRC International about its business plan.

Wan Abdul Aziz said he and KWAP’s then chief executive Datuk Azian Mohd Noh conveyed the revised loan amount to Najib in a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.

He added that the three-person meeting preceded his second more personal meeting with Najib where the latter ordered him to double the loan to RM2 billion.

Najib is on trial involving seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering over RM42 million of SRC International’s funds.

During the course of the trial, witnesses have testified that KWAP granted a total of RM4 billion in loans in August 2011 and March 2012 to SRC International, with money allegedly flowing through other companies before being transferred into Najib’s accounts.

Wan Abdul Aziz had earlier informed the court of how he held the position of Treasury sec-gen from March 2007 until his mandatory retirement the next year, but was retained, on contract, until August 2012.

The court also heard that he, as the Treasury’s sec-gen, was appointed as the KWAP’s chairman from 21 March 2007, ending his tenure August 2012.

In the afternoon during cross examination by Najib’s lawyer Farhan Read , Wan Abdul Aziz agreed that the instructions from Najib was in the interest of expediting the loan to push forward national interests in strategic resources, rather than demanding for the amount.

Farhan: Would it be correct for me to say that you didn't see this conversation (with Najib) as an instruction, but to push forward for the loan (from KWAP), in the balance of national interest?

Wan Abdul Aziz: Yes

Farhan: Then would you agree with me that it would be fair to say, this was a confession (to expedite the loan) on Datuk Seri Najib’s side?

Wan Abdul Aziz: Yes

Farhan: This conversation with Datuk Seri Najib, you cannot remember when exactly it took place?

Wan Abdul Aziz: Yes

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

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