KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak would surely have put a halt to businessman Low Taek Jho’s behind-the-scenes instructions involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) deals, purported “investments” and borrowings worth billions of ringgit if the latter’s directives would harm the company and Malaysia, the company’s former CEO said today.
1MDB former CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi had repeatedly spoken of how Low’s instructions on 1MDB affairs were either subsequently approved and verified by Najib or at least not met with negative responses from the former prime minister.
Shahrol said Low tended to covertly provide action plans, talking points and directives on 1MDB to him directly through non-official email addresses or through messaging service BBM, noting that Low would also forward written information that he had first briefed to Najib before sending them over to Shahrol.
“So in my understanding, all instructions given to me or everything that happens have already been discussed and already within Datuk Seri Najib’s knowledge.
“Each time the same method happens, there is an email, instructions from Jho Low, and then Datuk Seri Najib will act in line with what I have discussed with Jho Low, so I am confident, that Datuk Seri Najib knows about those matters and there is no reason for me to breach instructions that come from Datuk Seri Najib,” Shahrol told the High Court during Najib’s corruption trial over 1MDB funds.
“I think that if anything that comes from Jho Low is something that is not good for the company or the country, Datuk Seri Najib would certainly have stopped it from happening.
“A finance minister and prime minister would certainly act for what is best. I am only the CEO that has to comply with the 1MDB M&A that gives full power to Datuk Seri Najib,” Shahrol added.
Shahrol was referring to 1MDB’s memorandum and articles of association (M&A) or company constitution, which he had previously said made Najib the “ultimate power” or highest decision-maker in 1MDB as the prime minister.
Shahrol is the ninth prosecution witness testifying against Najib, with today being Day 15 of the trial.
The trial before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow.
Najib’s ongoing 1MDB trial involves 25 criminal charges — four counts of abusing his position for his own financial benefit totalling almost RM2.3 billion allegedly originating from 1MDB and the resulting 21 counts of money-laundering.