In SRC’s US$1.1b suit, ex-director says Najib never invited to board meetings

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — A former director of SRC International Sdn Bhd told the High Court today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak was not once invited to any board meetings despite serving as the company’s adviser emeritus whose views were unquestionable and must be complied with.

Datuk Suboh Md Yassin was testifying as a third party in SRC International Sdn Bhd’s US$1.18 billion (RM5.58 billion) civil suit against Najib.

Under cross-examination, Suboh said he has no recollection of Najib being invited to any of its board of directors’ meetings to advise them throughout his tenure at the company.

“None that I can recall,” he told Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Najib, who was both prime minister and finance minister at the time, was SRC International’s sole and exclusive shareholder by way of Minister of Finance (Incorporated) under the Finance Ministry.

He was also “adviser emeritus” as empowered by the company’s Memorandum and Article of Associations (M&A), whereby the latter’s views would have to be complied with by the board in material and strategic issues involving the company.

When questioned further by Muhammad Shafee on whether having Najib on board for advice was the best method of conveying the former’s view over the company’s direction, Suboh replied in the affirmative.

Asked further on why Najib was never invited to any of its board meetings, Suboh said it was probably due to Najib having well-placed confidence in the board’s former executive director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.

Past witnesses in the ongoing hearing have testified to Nik Faisal’s role in the company as the exclusive link between the company’s board of directors and Najib.

Suboh also conceded that he was neither aware of anyone from the board making attempts to meet with Najib nor he had made any personal attempts to see Najib.

“If the board of directors does not tell the prime minister, how would he be educated and enlightened to the true state of affairs of SRC?” Muhammad Shafee had earlier asked.

Imprisoned since August 23, 2022, Najib is serving his 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine for his conviction over the misappropriation of SRC International’s RM42 million funds, which has recently been reduced to six years of jail and RM50 million fine by the Pardons Board.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court June 24, 2024. — Picture By Raymond Manuel
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court June 24, 2024. — Picture By Raymond Manuel

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court June 24, 2024. — Picture By Raymond Manuel

SRC, under its new management, had filed legal action against Najib and its former directors Suboh, Mohammed Azhar Osman Khairuddin, Nik Faisal, Datuk Che Abdullah @ Rashidi Che Omar, Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and Tan Sri Ismee Ismail in May 2021.

However, later, it removed five names from the suit and retained Najib and Nik Faisal as the defendant.

Additionally, Najib has brought the former named SRC International directors as third-party respondents.

SRC, as a plaintiff in the writ of summons, had alleged that Najib had abused his power and obtained personal benefits from SRC International’s funds as well as misappropriated the funds. Najib was SRC’s Emeritus Advisor from May 1, 2012, until March 4, 2019.

SRC International, which is now wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc), is seeking general damages, exemplary, additional interest, costs and other appropriate relief provided by the court.

SRC International is currently seeking a declaration from the court that Najib is liable to account for the company’s losses due to his breach of duties and trust.

The company is also seeking an order that Najib pay the US$1.18 billion in losses it suffered, and damages for breach of duties and trust; including an order that Najib compensate the sum of US$120 million which entered his bank account as well.