Jho Low was Najib’s ‘orchestrator’ in 1MDB, says former CEO

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex September 24, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex September 24, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho was playing the role of an “orchestrator” for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi told the High Court today.

The former chief executive of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said that Low or Jho Low’s talking points and action plans always coincided with Najib’s action and decision on the sovereign wealth fund.

“What is apparent is that all the talking points and action plans that is conveyed to me are 100 per cent consistent with the actions and decisions of Najib afterwards.

“Therefore I am very confident that Jho Low play the role as the orchestrator on behalf of Najib to carry out all their plans in 1MDB,” said Shahrol.

This included 1MDB’s decisions on purchasing Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd, the joint venture with Petrosaudi International, the purchase of Genting and Jimah power plant, and the Issuance of the RM5 billion Islamic medium-term notes and the USD 1.75 billion bond issuance, said Shahrol.

Shahrol said that Low also ensured that all working groups in 1MDB were “working in a silo” and practiced a “need-to-know basis” work culture.

“This layered and confidential work is recognizsd among our peers at the implementing stage as ‘work in a silo’. This is a phrase used by Jho Low himself to me.

“Working in silo is what we practiced in our day-to-day operations since the beginning,” he said.

Former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex September 24, 2019. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex September 24, 2019. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

Shahrol said that Low also had provided talking points or actions plans to officers in the Prime Minister Office and the 1MDB board of directors.

This includes also 1MDB senior officials such as Casey Tang, Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, Azmi Tahir, Terence Geh and Jasmine Loo.

Shahrol also explains that he was not able to access to the talking points or actions plans that Low had provided, with the approval of Najib, to these company officials.

As an example, Shahrol stated he does not know the full details of the PSI and the Aabar/International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) deal that 1MDB undertakes.

“In the matter of PSI and Aabar/IPIC, I know Jho Low had given instructions to Jasmine Loo,” he said, referring to the firm’s former general counsel.

“However, Jasmine has never told me in detail what was done in the PSI and Aabar project. This is to ensure that I know on a high-level basis only.

“This is one of Jho Low’s processes to ensure that we know our respective roles through the ‘work in silo’ and ‘need-to-know basis’ concept,” he said.

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