Complicity At SRC Leaves Zero Wriggle Room For Najib
Late last year, observers remind, the Ministry of Finance owned SRC International issued a press release condemning articles by this news site.
SRC accused Sarawak Report of “fabricating” chart flows showing how the company’s sent money into Najib’s accounts and also for “fabricating” the charge sheet drawn up by the previous Attorney General against the Prime Minister in relation to these transactions.
The press release cited no named official, because by then the CEO, Nik Faisal Arif Kamil, had fled to Jakarta and there has been no replacement.
So, one can only assume that it was authorised by Nik’s boss, the Finance Minister/PM Najib Razak himself, who had brought the company under his ministry’s direct control after months of criticism over its opaque handling of public money while it had been a subsidiary of 1MDB.
This is what SRC’s anonymous press release said:
October 21, 2015
- We refer to previous reports carried by MalaysiaKini, apparently working hand-in-hand with a foreign controlled blog Sarawak Report– who published an alleged charge sheet against the Prime Minister and a diagram of alleged fund flows into his accounts – saying that a RM4 billion loan obtained by SRC International from KWAP had been misappropriated.
- We strongly reject these allegations. Having conducted an internal investigation, we believe these claims were based on documents that were fabricated, therefore representing a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.
- In reality, all the RM4 billion borrowed from KWAP is accounted for on our balance sheet, in accordance with standard accounting and governance practices. None of it was misappropriated as claimed by those with malicious intent.
- With respect to SRC’s CSR activities, any expenditure by the company on social programmes is derived from cash income generated from our investments.
- Over the years, this has amounted to approximately RM500 million excluding other non-cash items, providing us with strong income to use for such purposes.
- In the interests of full disclosure, we ask the good office of the Attorney General to conduct a full investigation into these claims and the alleged charge sheet published by Sarawak Reportand fund flows diagram published by MalaysiaKini. We ask that the parties responsible for these fabrications be identified, given that their authenticity was denied by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on 3 August 2015.
- These false allegations represented a serious attack on SRC, which resulted in negative financial and reputational repercussions for our business, as well as the Government in an attempt to politically undermine it.
- We call on those quarters who are engaged in efforts to overthrow the Government to desist from involving SRC in their political campaign and to avoid making false and unsubstantiated allegations against us.
SRC International lied
A few months on these claims by SRC have been rendered totally and utterly discredited and untrue.
It was the very Attorney General, whom SRC called upon to investigate Sarawak Report’s alleged forgery and fabrication, who first let the cat out of the bag in January.
In the process of “clearing” Najib, which he had been hired to do by Najib, he waved the MACC report which showed the very cash flows that SRC had complained we fabricated!
What’s more he waved another paper showing that there were even more cash flows – another RM33 million on top of the earlier RM42 million, passing from SRC International to Najib’s private accounts.
At this conference Apandi explained on Najib’s behalf that the Prime Minister had not realised the money came from SRC, thinking that it had come from the “donation” of US$681 million from a ‘Saudi Royal’ instead. The AG accepted this excuse and didn’t ask for the money back… and neither did SRC:
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had no knowledge, nor was he informed, that funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd were transferred into his personal bank accounts, Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said.
He said evidence showed that at all material times, the prime minister was of the belief that the “payments made by him” were made from the Saudi royal family’s RM2.6 billion political donation.
“There is no evidence to show the PM gave any approval for the transfer of monies from the account of SRC International into his personal accounts,” Apandi told a press conference [Malaysiakini 26th January]
The MACC immediately contested the AG’s attempt to close the case, insisting that there were grounds for prosecution against Najib. This further substantiated the information published by Sarawak Report, which that the previous AG had indeed produced a charge sheet against the Prime Minister before he was unceremoniously sacked.
So, case proven for Sarawak Report.
“All the RM4 billion borrowed from KWAP is accounted for”
Move on several weeks and the lies in that anonymous SRC press release, authorised by Najib, have been further exposed by the highly credible authority of the Singapore prosecution service.
SRC claimed (above) that it had done a total audit of every cent expended from the RM4 billion it had borrowed from KWAP and proved that NONE of it had been misappropriated:
” In reality, all the RM4 billion borrowed from KWAP is accounted for on our balance sheet, in accordance with standard accounting and governance practices. None of it was misappropriated as claimed by those with malicious intent.”
And yet, this week we have seen laid bare in a Singapore court the evidence that US$12 million was squirrelled out of SRC International’s BSI Bank account into a private company opened by a Jho Low associate named Eric Tan, by means of forgery and deception on the part of an arrested individual named Yeo Jaiwei.
Didn’t SRC’s auditors pick that one up in the course of their thorough investigations?
And what about Sarawak Report’s other queries, as to why the Prime Minister cum Finance Minister had made a statement to Parliament, claiming that the majority of the RM4 billion borrowed by SRC had been invested in a Mongolian coal mining venture, when company records prove that no more than around RM180 million could have been injected by SRC?
Why has there been no answer to our point that the vast majority of SRC’s money therefore remains unaccounted for and presumably invested in similar dodgy ventures initiated by companies controlled by Jho Low?
One prime target for investigation, Sarawak Report suggests, is the mysterious Jho Low company of a strangely similar name, SRG (Strategic Resources Global), which together with Aabar bought out the US oil company Coastal Energy.
Did any of SRC (Strategic Resources Company)’s cash go missing there?
Tengku Razaleigh piles on the pressure
With such developments it is becoming clear that no matter how furiously the PM lies about the money, which he has now admitted to having used to fund his credit cards and to pay political hangers-on, the scandal cannot be covered up.
Najib’s cyber-troopers have fallen back on their “broken record” argument, complaining that the critics of 1MDB are “harping on” about the same old boring billions, which have been stolen.
Yet, even as Malaysians are being urged to ‘forget about’ this ‘old chestnut’ of a story by Najib’s writers, a dramatic press release by none other than UMNO’s key senior figure Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah shows how the issue cannot disappear.
Razaleigh was at one point considered a possible leader of an UMNO split over 1MDB, but Najib moved to bring him close. Today he has re-opened the divide by issuing a deadly demand that the Auditor General’s report into 1MDB be de-classified, in the face of Najib’s extraordinary move to make it an Official Secret.
This was the very demand cited by Sarawak Report earlier this week, after PAC member Tony Pua revealed that the Auditor General had discovered no less than US$7 billion have gone missing from 1MDB.
As Tengku Razaleigh made clear, just as the PM’s plane was lifting off to start an official foreign visit to the UK and Russia, the suppression of this investigation into a public company, which was in response to major concerns, is wholly unjustifiable:
“I am again making a call that the Auditor-General’s Report, which has been classified as “Official Secret” should be declassified as a matter of urgency for the reasons I have given above and because the Members of the Dewan Rakyat have a constitutional right to the Auditor-General’s Report before Parliament sits on 16th May, 2016. The issues are of such public importance that there cannot be any excuse for making the Auditor-General’s Report an official secret.” [Press Statement Tengku Razaleigh – see below]
The same point has, of course, been made by UMNO’s other rebel of enormous stature, the former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir.
Tengku Razaleigh has added that the revelation of foul play over the publication of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee report also into 1MDB also makes the de-classification necessary and urgent. Najib’s hand-picked new Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee was found to have secretly and illegally removed certain damning sentences from that report, after it had been unanimously voted through an just before it was printed.
Those sentences referred to the discovery that US$7oo million plus US$330 million were directly siphoned from the initial 1MDB PetroSaudi joint venture deal to a company (Good Star Limited) that was not owned by either party to the joint venture, according to Bank Negara, said the PAC.
So, yet another deceit is out and it seems numbers are growing amongst the UMNO warlords, who are deciding enough is enough.
Sarawak Report is sorry to sound so often like a broken record, so we will offer Prime Minister Najib and his wife Rosmah our wishes for a pleasant time abroad, as they leave their disenchanted colleagues in charge behind.
See the press release:
TENGKU RAZALEIGH HAMZAH
MISREPRESENTATION OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
It has been widely reported that there had been unlawful deletions to the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) Report that is to be tabled in Parliament. The deletions are about a subject matter of importance and controversy in respect of the unlawful movements of money that 1MDB had purportedly borrowed from international creditors.
2 My concern is for the protection of the integrity and standing of the Dewan Rakyat in the eyes of the public as an institution where Members of the Dewan Rakyat act responsibly and honestly without misleading the public.
3. In view of the deletions, I am concerned whether the Report that is going to be presented to the Dewan Rakyat is a report that can stand up to the public concerns in respect of the purported loans that 1MDB claims to have made on behalf of the nation. The deletions will be considered not only as unlawful but also a serious breach of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) 1952, Section 9(i), (j) and (n)(iii).
4. The Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 is intended to protect the integrity and reputation of the Dewan Rakyat so that the people of Malaysia will have confidence in the Dewan Rakyat as a constitutional institution to protect their interests. A breach of the Sections that I have referred to which deals with the tampering, misrepresentation and falsification of the documents presented to the Dewan Rakyat is precisely the kind of actions which fall within the offences under the Act. What it means is whatever deletions that have been made can cause apprehension among members of the public that the Report cannot, in the circumstances, reflect the entire truth of the facts surronding the 1MDB issue.
5. Therefore, I am again making a call that the Auditor-General’s Report, which has been classified as “Official Secret” should be declassified as a matter of urgency for the reasons I have given above and because the Members of the Dewan Rakyat have a constitutional right to the Auditor-General’s Report before Parliament sits on 16th May, 2016. The issues are of such public importance that there cannot be any excuse for making the Auditor-General’s Report an official secret. I would also like to reiterate the decision by the Prime Minister Y.A.B. Dato’ Sri Najib that the 1MDB issue be investigated by the Auditor-General and its result presented as a report for the consideration of the Dewan Rakyat. In making that decision, the Prime Minister gave the impression that there is nothing to hide.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah Member of Parliament Gua Musang Kuala Lumpur, 14th May 2016, 7th Syaaban 1437H.