Economic activity

Single letter from Najib used to approve RM4 bil KWAP loans, Fed Court told

PUTRAJAYA (18 Aug): The Federal Court heard on Thursday (18 Aug) that all it took for approval of RM4 billion in loans from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International Sdn Bhd was a single letter of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Ad Hoc Prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram kicked off the prosecution’s submissions in Najib’s final appeal to the SRC by detailing Najib’s “hands-on” approach to securing the two tranches of loans granted by the pension fund to the SRC, which amounted to RM4 billion.

He told the Supreme Court that initially the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister’s Department had suggested that funding for the SRC should come from commercial banks and financial markets, which was also accepted by Najib, then minister in charge of the UPR. , Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

However, Najib subsequently, in his capacity as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, sought approval of funds of RM3.95 billion from KWAP ― instead of sourcing from commercial banks and markets funding ― for the SRC to pursue its renewable energy resource goals. , Submitted Sithambaram.

He said Najib had, on June 5, 2011, written a minute on a CBC letter to KWAP CEO Datuk Azian Mohd Noh, which read, “YBhg Datuk Azian, bersetuju dengan cadangan ini(“Datuk Azian, agree with this proposal”).

“The CEO of KWAP then instructed the Fixed Income Department of KWAP to process this request for a loan from the SRC.

“Eventually, the KWAP investment panel approved funding of RM2 billion in 2011, and a further RM2 billion in 2012, as a result of interference from the caller,” Sithambaram said.

Datuk versus Sithambaram.
Photo by Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Yusuf/The Edge

Relying on a single letter to approve loans of RM4 billion was “ridiculous”, the ad hoc prosecutor said. While submitting this, Najib was seen casually looking at his cell phone.

The Federal Government, as guarantor of the RM4 billion loans, had confirmed earlier this month that it had repaid the debts to the pension fund in full.

The Federal Court appeal hearing finally began after former prime minister Hisyam Teh Poh Teik’s former lead counsel for his release was denied by a five-member quorum.

Two other issues that were dealt with before the main appeal were offers to produce new evidence, as well as a three to four month adjournment, which were also rejected by the Federal Court.

Najib is in Federal Court to hear his final appeal in the SRC case. He was found guilty on July 28, 2020 by the High Court on all seven counts and was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million.

The verdict and the sentence were confirmed by the Court of Appeal on December 8th.

The charges include one count of abuse of power in the approval of RM4bn of KWAP loans to SRC, and three counts of criminal breach of trust and money laundering of RM42m. funds from the CBC.

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