KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Former member of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) board of advisers Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan told the High Court today that he believed the government-owned company to have been set up as a political fund for the Barisan Nasional (BN).
The retired senior government official was testifying as the 19th prosecution witness in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial over the misappropriation of more than RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.
Sidek made the disclosure when explaining why he did not ask about the “problems” reported in the news about 1MDB relating to the claims of misappropriated funds.
“I also confirm that Datuk Seri Mohd Najib as the prime minister never told me about there being any issues that happened in 1MDB although I was appointed as one of the members of 1MDB’s board of advisers.
“I also never asked Datuk Seri Mohd Najib why there was no 1MDB board of advisers meeting being held throughout the period I held the position as a member of the 1MDB board of advisers. I was also not reported by any 1MDB representative about the operations and investments carried out by 1MDB,” he told the court.
“I wish to state here, I never asked Datuk Seri Mohd Najib or anyone in 1MDB about the problems that happened in 1MDB as according to my understanding, this 1MDB was formed to be a political fund to the ruling party then which is Barisan Nasional,” he said.
Sidek was chief secretary to the government from September 2006 to June 2012, and was appointed by Najib who was at that time both the prime minister and finance minister, to be a member of 1MDB’s board of advisers in 2010.
Sidek confirmed he had received RM30,000 as monthly advisory fee as member of 1MDB’s board of advisers from July 2010 until December 2012, and subsequently a reduced sum of RM10,000 per month from January 2013 until June 2015, and that he had then stopped receiving any payments for the role and was notified in May 2016 via a letter from Najib that the board of advisers was dissolved.
Sidek said he had found out about the issues in 1MDB relating to allegations of misappropriation of funds through newspapers and what he read on the Internet, and that he had also read from local newspapers that 1MDB was investigated by local agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
But Sidek said he was never briefed or told further about the details of the probe on 1MDB.
Najib’s 1MDB trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes this afternoon, with Sidek expected to appear again tomorrow for cross-examination by Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.