Update Najib’s Trial Day 7: Penang UMNO, UPKO received RM1 mln each, High Court hears

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 (NNN-Bernama) — The High Court here hearing the case of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak regarding criminal breach of trust (CBT) and other charges involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, was today told that Penang UMNO receivejd RM1 million from the party headquarters in 2015.

The 13th prosecution witness, Ahmad Sahar Shuib, who is the executive secretary of Penang UMNO, said the money was obtained after a written request was made to the party headquarters for the purposes of adminstration and welfare programmes.

He was testifying on the seventh day of the trial where Najib, 66, is facing three counts of CBT, one count of abusing his powers and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International funds totalling RM42 million.

During examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi, Ahmad Zahar said he had drafted the letter to get the money.

Muhammad Saifuddin: What is the financial source for Penang UMNO?

Ahmad Zahar: UMNO Malaysia headquarters.

Muhammad Saifuddin: How was the contribution obtained?

Ahmad Zahar: Through a written request submitted by the then Penang UMNO chairman, the late Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Muhammad Saifuddin: Who wrote the letter of request?

Ahmad Zahar: I drafted the letter before handing it to Datuk Seri Zainal to be checked, printed and sent to the headquarters.

Muhammad Saifuddin: What was the amount requested in the letter?

Ahmad Zahar: In the letter, RM2 million was sought, but (Penang UMNO) only received RM1 million.

Meanwhile, when responding to a question from counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdulllah, who is leading the defence’s team, Ahmad Zahar said it was common practice for Penang division to apply for allocations from the UMNO headquarters every year, as it had no other source of income.

The witness also said the contribution was used to make payments such as staff salaries and channelled to welfare programmes such as aid to disaster victims and orphans.

He added that the money was also used for educating outstanding students and religious activities such as mosque programmes during Ramadan.

Meanwhile, in the same proceedings, the 15th witness, who is former treasurer-general of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) , told the court that his party had received a cheque for RM1 million from Najib, in February 2015.

Datuk Seri Dr Markin @ Marcus Mojigoh, who is also head of the party’s Putatan division, said the cheque received was to fund party programmes, including various community activities in Sabah.

“Prior to that, we had a meeting with Barisan Nasional (BN) to seek assistance regarding the agenda to help the people.

“At that time, we had no financial resources, so we told Datuk Seri Najib who later made the contribution,” said the former MP for Putatan.

Muhammad Shafee: Did UPKO also use the funds to provide a free legal clinic?

Marcus: Yes, legal bureau.

Muhammad Shafee: Help to get land rights?

Marcus: That’s right.

Muhammad Shafee: In the field of education as well?

Marcus: No, but we ran entrepreneurial courses for single mothers.

Muhammad Shafee: Najib agreed to give funds but there was a condition?

Marcus: No conditions but we listed out what we will do.

According to him, the money was divided and chanelled to each branch of the party (UPKO) to carry out programmes that had been planned including visiting bedridden patients, donating spectacles to senior citizens and wheelchairs to people with disabilities.

The hearing before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues tomorrow.