Najib’s SRC trial: Ex-CEO says Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia used Genting’s casino money to fund social projects

Former Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) chief executive Ung Su Ling leaves the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex July 16, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Former Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) chief executive Ung Su Ling leaves the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex July 16, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Money sourced from Genting Group’s licensed gambling business was used to fund social programmes and projects undertaken by Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M), the High Court heard during Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial today.

Former YR1M chief executive Ung Su Ling testified that the foundation owned three bank accounts: One to fund projects with monies sourced from Genting’s gambling business; one for its operational expenditure; and the third for projects with funds from other sources.

All three accounts were registered with AmBank Berhad.

Later, Ung explained that YR1M was established in January 2013 with three main cores — raising the quality of life of the unfortunate, improving the education standard of students from rural areas and instilling positive values in youth through their participation in sports.

“The YR1M programme was inspired by Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak who wanted to see more community activities executed based on the principles of 1Malaysia programmes,” she said.

Ung said YR1M’s board of trustees comprised four individuals at that time, naming them as Najib; former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamarudin; special officer at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Datuk Wan Shihab Wan Ismail; and Najib’s ex-aide Datuk Azlin Alias before he died in a helicopter crash in April 2015.

After Azlin’s death, the YR1M board of trustees was left with the three members.

During cross-examination by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Ung explained that YR1M gave funds to 1MDB’s CSR partner, Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd (IPSB), which YR1M partnered with after the foundation was established in 2013.

“One funder was 1MDB, the second was companies within the Genting Group.

“We also received a small amount of money from Petronas — that was for very specific projects,” she said.

According to her, YR1M received a total of RM210 million from 1MDB, RM230 million from Genting Group, and RM3 million from Petronas.

Muhammad Shafee also asked Ung if the board of trustees would have to meet up and discuss projects and their allocations, to which Ung replied that the board has never met formally.

“Everything was dealt with via circular resolutions,” she said, adding that signatures from Najib and Wan Shihab would be secured by Azlin.

She also listed down several examples of projects and activities undertaken by YR1M within the education and medical sector centred on rural East Malaysia.

“The types of projects that we do would be providing clean water to communities without clean water access for example in Sabah and Sarawak.

“We also provide off-grid communities the means to develop a micro-hydro generating plant, providing skills training to entrepreneurs — basically mom-and-pop kind of enterprises we did some agro-based projects, helping farmers.

“Over 1,500 projects were implemented by the foundation in the five years (2013-2018),” Ung said, while also citing schools built or assisted and scholarships provided through YR1M.

Ung is the prosecution’s 49th witness in Najib’s ongoing trial on alleged abuse of position, money-laundering and criminal breach of trust over RM42 million of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

Earlier she testified that Azlin had instructed her to inform IPSB to transfer RM42 million into Najib’s bank account in 2014 and 2015.

She told the court that the three fund transfers for corporate social responsibility (CSR) purposes were made in tranches of RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million.

However, hearing was adjourned earlier today following the court’s decision to allow the Pekan MP to show up in Parliament for debates and expected voting on a law change for Malaysia’s voting age to be lowered to 18 years old.

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

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