KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — A former company secretary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) today confirmed in the High Court that she is not the aunt of now-fugitive Low Taek Jho, and said this individual was only pointed out to her once while she was having lunch with other 1MDB officials at a hotel.
Goh Gaik Kim, 54, said this while testifying as the 17th prosecution witness in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial over the misappropriation of more than RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.
Najib’s lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed today asked Goh to clear the air over previous claims made that she was the aunt of Low.
Wan Aizuddin: This is a red herring, you don’t look old enough to be anyone’s auntie, but there is this allegation you are this person, Jho Low’s auntie, can you answer it once and for all?
Goh: I categorically say I am not his auntie, not only I’m not his auntie, I am also not in any way related to him.
Earlier, Wan Aizuddin had asked Goh if she was aware of Low when she was working with 1MDB as company secretary, and she said no. Low was 1MDB’s company secretary from March 2011 to April 1, 2016.
Goh said she had seen Low “from afar” in the first month of joining 1MDB, where she was having lunch with then 1MDB director Tan Sri Ong Gim Huat and then 1MDB chief financial officer Radhi Mohamad at the Concorde Hotel.
“I think he came in, Radhi said ‘oh, that’s Jho Low’ and Tan Sri Ong and him went over to say hi. I saw him from afar. At that time, I didn’t know who he was,” she said, confirming that she was not introduced to Low.
Clarifying that it was not a situation where the two other 1MDB officials bumped into Low, Goh said that Ong and Radhi had just went over to say hi to Low and then came back to her.
Shown a photograph of Low, Goh confirmed that she was unable to confirm if he was indeed the person that was pointed out to her during that lunch, as she had only seen him from afar.
“They told me this is Jho Low, I didn’t see his face,” she said of that 2011 event.
Apart from this 2011 lunch event, Goh confirmed that she had not seen Low at any other occasion or in 1MDB’s premises.
Asked if she was informed by 1MDB’s senior management that Low played a part in 1MDB, Goh said “no, whatever I know about his role in the company were from the media”.
Goh confirmed that nobody in 1MDB had told her that Low is involved in the management of the company, noting that even at the 2011 lunch event that Ong and Radhi did not tell her about Low’s role in relation to 1MDB.
Saying that it was obvious that Low would be related to 1MDB as both Ong and Radhi had went to greet him, Goh said the duo did not answer her question about his role after they came back from greeting Low.
“Even at that occasion when I saw him at lunch, when they came back, I asked who is that, they said it is Jho Low, I asked who is he, obviously he has to be related to the company. … They said Jho Low, but I asked how is he connected to the company, but both of them kept quiet,” she said.
Wan Aizuddin again then asked if nothing was expressly said to Goh about Low’s involvement in 1MDB, and Goh confirmed this.
After Goh testified, former 1MDB company secretary Lim Poh Seng then testified as the 18th prosecution witness.
Najib’s trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah will resume this afternoon.
Previously on June 17, 2019, Low’s spokesman had issued a statement to deny any family ties with Goh, stating: “There is no family relationship between Mr Low or any of his family members with the above mentioned Goh Gaik Kim.”
According to the spokesman, Low was “aware” that SRC International Sdn Bhd’s former company secretary Goh was alleged by a lawyer to be Low’s relative during Najib’s trial involving RM42 million of SRC’s money, adding that claims of the alleged family ties are “demonstrably false”.