Najib signed MOF Inc’s approval for him to represent it as shareholder of 1MDB, witness tells court

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Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court May 12, 2022. — Picture by Devan Manuel
Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court May 12, 2022. — Picture by Devan Manuel

KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak signed off on paperwork authorising him to represent the Finance Ministry’s Minister of Finance (Incorporated) or MOF Inc as the shareholder of Terengganu Investment Authority (later 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB), the High Court heard today.

Najib was both finance minister and prime minister at the material time.

Lim Poh Seng, who was formerly the company secretary for Terengganu Investment Berhad (TIA) and its rebranded version 1MDB from February 2009 until March 2011, said this while testifying in court today.

Lim is the 18th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial over the misappropriation of more than RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.

Verifying various documents shown to him including a certificate of appointment of corporate representative dated August 12, 2009, Lim said that this was a document issued by the MOF Inc “signed by YAB Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak authorising the appointment of YAB Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak as its corporate representative at all general meetings of the company”.

Asked to elaborate on this by deputy public prosecutor Deepa Nair Thevaharan, Lim said MOF Inc was the one who had authorised Najib to be its representative, but also confirmed that Najib had signed on MOF Inc’s behalf.

Deepa: This is a document signed by YAB Datuk Seri Najib authorising the appointment of himself?

Lim: No, it’s actually the MOF Inc authorising YAB Datuk Seri Najib Razak as its corporate representative.

Deepa: Can you look at the document; who signed this document?

Lim: This document is issued by MOF Inc in capacity of shareholder of 1MDB, to authorise the corporate representative, which is Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The signatory of MOF Inc is YAB Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

At the time when this document was signed, TIA had yet to be renamed as 1MDB.

Based on documents shown in court, TIA’s directors had on August 11, 2009 agreed to transfer the shares held in TIA by the Terengganu state government’s Mentri Besar Terengganu Incorporated to MOF Inc. As part of the federalisation where it came under the federal government’s full ownership, TIA was on September 25, 2009 officially recorded as having changed its name to 1MDB.

Throughout Najib’s 1MDB trial which has been going on for more than 100 days so far since it started in August 2019, at least 1,000 documents have been shown in court, including multiple resolutions signed by then finance minister Najib for 1MDB’s shareholder MOF Inc to approve various financial transactions, deals and fundraising efforts such as through borrowing money or issuing bonds.

Najib’s 1MDB trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah is scheduled to resume next Tuesday, with Najib’s lawyers expected to further cross-examine Lim.

Before the end of today’s proceedings, deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P Kunyalam told the court that the prosecution also expects to next call on former 1MDB chief financial officer Azmi Tahir for re-examination and former 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh for cross-examination, as well as former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan to testify.

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