Former Treasury chief concedes no SRC showcases delivered despite RM4b KWAP loan

Former Treasury secretary-general, Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 11, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Former Treasury secretary-general, Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court July 11, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — A former Treasury secretary-general agreed in court today that no marquee projects came of the RM4 billion that Retirement Fund (Incorporated) [KWAP] loaned to SRC International Sdn Bhd in 2011 and 2012.

Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, who also served as KWAP’s chairman from 2008 to 2012, agreed with deputy public prosecutor Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim that unlike projects under prime ministers before Datuk Seri Najib Razak, there were no specific undertaking he could link to SRC’s investments.

Wan Abdul Aziz previously agreed that Najib’s predecessors had pushed for certain government projects to be funded before proper documentation was provided to the relevant government agencies, just as SRC International had done when applying for the two RM2 billion loans from KWAP.

Suhaimi: You were shown several projects, like the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), where accommodation projects were sped up for tourists. Even though there was pressure (from the then prime ministers) that (we) didn’t know was legal or not, but does the projects still exist?

Wan Abdul Aziz : Yes

Suhaimi: As for SRC, until now, do you know what was done with the loaned money?

Wan Abdul Aziz: No

Earlier, he agreed with defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah when the latter said previous government-backed projects were also funded prior to full documentation and cited the LIMA events during the first Mahathir administration as an example.

Wan Abdul Aziz had also agreed with Shafee that projects to develop accommodation for LIMA were approved and began even before the air show was confirmed officially.

The former official additionally acknowledged his familiarity with LIMA, its related applications and funding approvals by virtue of his service with the Treasury at the time.

Wan Abdul Aziz had also agreed with Shafee that it was a similar process undertaken during the process of second RM2 billion loan to SRC International, where documents had been issued only after the loan was disbursed.

However, he had also answered in the affirmative to Suhaimi later on, that the loans would not have been issued to SRC International if there was no government guarantee for the funding, which can only be obtained from the Ministry of Finance.

Suhaimi: If not for the government guarantee, would have the two loans be approved and disbursed?

Wan Abdul Aziz: No.

Suhaimi: If not for the government guarantee, for the first loan, how much did KWAP want to pass (to SRC International)?

Wan Abdul Aziz: For the first loan, (we wanted to grant a loan) for RM1 billion that was covered with the condition it came with a government guarantee.

Suhaimi: So there must be a government guarantee (when seeking loans as a government subsidiary company)?

Wan Abdul Aziz: Yes.

During cross-examination, Wan Abdul Aziz had also agreed with Shafee that in theory, the purpose behind the formation of SRC International was an honourable move by the government.

He also answered in the affirmative when asked by Najib’s lead defence counsel that SRC International was set out to be another company reaching the heights Petronas, based on how it was represented to him as KWAP’s chairman.

Shafee: Would you agree that it (SRC International) was to be another Petronas-like line of company?

Wan Abdul Aziz: Yes.

Shafee: Had that purpose has been achieved, you would see SRC as another Petronas in the country?

Wan Abdul Aziz: Yes.

Shafee: That would propel the economy of the country greatly, you agree?

Wan Abdul Aziz: Yes.

Najib is on trial for seven money laundering and criminal breach of trust charges over RM42 million in SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

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.

The trial resumes before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali on Monday at 9am.

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