KUALA LUMPUR – The Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) did not expedite its approval on a RM2 billion loan to SRC International Sdn Bhd in 2011.
In fact, KWAP had adhered to its guidelines on investment and loan, and deliberated In-depth on the loan application before approving the sum, which was less than the original amount of RM3.95 billion applied for by SRC International.
A testimony by former KWAP assistant vice-president for Fixed Income Department Amirul Imran Ahmat in Najib Razak-SRC trial today revealed that KWAP’s 7-man Investment Panel conducted four meetings to deliberate on the first application dated June 3, 2011 submitted by SRC for a RM3.95 billion loan.
SRC International had submitted its application to then Prime Minister and Finance Minister 1 Datuk Seri Najib, who had minuted his agreement on June 5, 2011, for the loan before forwarding it to KWAP for consideration.
In spite of Najib’s recommendation, KWAP’s Investment Panel deliberated on the application for over a month and finally approved only a RM2 billion loan, that too with a government guarantee.
SRC International, a subsidiary under 1MDB then, has sought the loan to facilitate its imminent investments into alternate energy resources sector.
Amirul Imran, the 29th witness, had earlier suggested during examination-in-chief by the prosecution that the loan application was rushed through for approval due to tremendous pressure, without specifying “who pressured whom or the nature of the pressure.”
However, he later agreed with the defence suggestion during cross-examination that the KWAP’s Investment Panel had thoroughly scrutinise SRC application by deliberating on all details before approving the RM2 billion loan.
Based on Amirul Imran’s testimony on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, one can conclude that Najib did not abuse his power or misuse his position to secure the KWAP’s loan to SRC by circumventing any law.
The loan approval process had complied with existing KWAP guidelines, terms and conditions.
KWAP issued its letter of offer for the RM2 billion loan to SRC on August 23, 2011.
Three loan agreements – one on loan facility and, one each on assets sale and purchase, were signed between KWAP and SRC on August 26, 2011.
The loan was managed under an Islamic financial system namely Bai’ al-‘Inah.
Najib, 66, is being accused of committing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of power abuse, and three counts of money laundering involving SRC totalling RM42mil.
The hearing is before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. – NTHQiBord, 7 Mei 2019.