*This article has been updated with the second and final part of the translated statement*
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 6): Secret meetings with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, a mission to China to secure 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) bail out, and what went on behind the scene when the embezzlement at 1MDB was exposed — these are but some of the explosive details revealed by the eighth witness in the 1MDB-Tanore Trial, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin. He is former special officer to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is in the dock.
Below is Amhari's witness statement, translated and reproduced in full:
Name: Datuk Amhari Efendi Bin Nazaruddin
Position: Former special officer to the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Age: 43 years
1. I'm from Petaling Jaya. My highest education is a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, from which I graduated in 1999. I received a full scholarship from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). Upon graduation in 1999, I began my career at the BNM office in Kuala Lumpur as a senior executive responsible for economic reporting to the Department of Economics.
2. In 2006, I was seconded from BNM to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM), as a Special Officer to the Minister. At the time, the Minister at EPU was Datuk Seri Mohd Effendi Norwawi. My duties were assisting programmes of the YB Minister that involved economics-based programmes as well as attend selected meetings involving the Minister. This secondment lasted until early 2008.
3. After that, I returned to work at BNM as a manager in the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC). After about two months on the job, I was contacted by Datuk Wan Shihab, who was a Special Officer to the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) at the time, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Bin Abd Razak (DS Najib), who asked me to attend an interview for the position of Special Officer to the DPM.
4. The interview was conducted at DS Najib's residence on Jalan Langgak Duta. DS Najib himself interviewed me. About a week later, I was contacted by Datuk Wan Shihab informing me that my interview for the position of Special Officer to the DPM had been successful and that the appointment would be in the nature of a loan from BNM.
5. As Special Officer to the DPM, my tasks at that time included managing the 1Malaysia.com.my blog, managing social media or any online communications for the DPM, as well as some works related to the economy such as the preparation of his speeches that involved economic-related data.
6. Because the idea for the 1Malaysia brand that was brought about by DS Najib was new at the time and needed to be promoted, my team and I were responsible for promoting the 1Malaysia brand through social media such as Twitter and blogs. Furthermore, at that time, DS Najib was expected to take the office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
7. When I was working at the DPM Office, I was placed under the supervision of the late Datuk Azlin Alias (Datuk Azlin). In April 2009, after DS Najib was elected as the 6th Prime Minister (PM), my position was immediately changed to Special Officer to the Prime Minister. I was then placed in the Economics Division under the supervision of Datuk Azlin who was the Director of the Economics Division, Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
8. As the Special Officer to the PM in the Economics Division, my duties were:
a. Coordinate the PM’s programmes that involved economic matters with the relevant agencies, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Trade and International Industry, Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism, the Ministry of Women and Family Development, government-linked companies (GLCs) including 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the Securities Commission, Bank Negara Malaysia and others;
b. Prepare the PM’s speeches that were related to economic matters
c. Assist in obtaining economic data from any relevant parties for the preparation of the PM's speech for any of his programmes
d. Coordinate data from any of the related Ministries or agencies in the event that there are proposals from the PM to review Government policies, for example, increasing the amount for Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M);
e. Draft and plan the PM's Budget speech with help from all Ministries
f. Undertake whatever instructions from my superior officer, who was Datuk Azlin, from time to time, and
g. Undertake tasks based on the instructions received, whether directly or indirectly, from the PM from time to time, whereby those tasks were outside the work scope stated above.
9. In January 2010, a company was formed by the name of ORB Solutions Sdn Bhd, in which Noorhaina Hirawani Binti Mohd Noor and I were the joint directors. The company was established to promote the 1Malaysia brand. It also acted as an entity to manage matters related to the 1Malaysia.com.my blog and the PM's social media activities. Besides that, the company would also do coverage of the events attended by the PM for material to be used in the 1Malaysia.com.my blog, as well as the PM's social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook. I was appointed as one of the joint directors to facilitate and validate that the work done by this company was for DS Najib. I was a director of this company until 2014.
10. In March 2014, Datuk Azlin was promoted to Principal Private Secretary (KSUS) to the PM. Consequently, there was a vacant position in the Director of PMO’s Economics Division. So around mid-2014, I was promoted to be the Director of the PMO’s Economics Division-cum-PM’s Special Officer.
11. I don't hold any positions in nor have I registered as a member of, any political party. I have no direct involvement in politics. However, my political involvement was indirect, which was through instructions from DS Najib or the PMO. Among these instructions were the preparation of his speeches and election preparations. I also attended the Umno's annual general assembly in my capacity as special officer to the PM.
DATO SRI NAJIB BIN TUN ABD RAZAK
12. The first time I met DS Najib was when I was interviewed by him for the post of Special Officer to the DPM in mid-2008. During my 10 years of service for him, I found that DS Najib was a leader who was a gentleman, able to carry out whatever he planned, charismatic and and cleverly eloquent at expressing his wishes.
13. DS Najib's way of working was so strategic and he is good at dividing up tasks that were special/confidential/ highly classified. He is also good at organizing the roles of his senior officers in obtaining their ideas or opinions. Each officer would only know what was relevant to their roles. They would never get the complete picture of the ultimate purpose of a major mission or task that was assigned to them.
14. This practice was used by DS Najib for the purpose of maintaining confidentiality and to enable his officers to provide different views so that DS Najib always has the full advantage and insight in any matter. Most of the meetings to discuss confidential matters were done in DS Najib's own home on Jalan Langgak Duta and only close and trusted individuals would be called for discussions.
15. As a Special Officer, I was required to understand and familiarise myself with Najib's way of working. I have also been advised by more senior officers, who had served Najib long before I did, to never reveal the instructions I received from DS Najib to anyone unless I was directed to do so by DS Najib himself.
16. DS Najib had an advisor who was important to him, an individual named Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low. Jho Low knew Najib even before I started working with him. To my knowledge, DS Najib's family, including Datin Seri Rosmah Mansur, were also very close to Jho Low as I had noticed that Jho Low frequently received calls from Datin Seri Rosmah but I never knew the details of their conversations.
17. During my time of service with DS Najib, he regularly met with Jho Low to discuss a number of matters, including confidential matters. Occasionally, special instructions involving confidential matters that were given to me or Datuk Azlin came from Jho Low and I am sure those instructions were mostly conveyed or known and agreed to by DS Najib himself. I say that because most of the time Datuk Azlin or I reviewed the instructions we received from Jho Low with Najib, and we found that he was aware of the instructions and most of the time he agreed with them and directed us to do it.
LOW TAEK JHO (JHO LOW)
18. In reference to my acquaintance with Jho Low, our first meeting took place in 2007, which was before I was even appointed as Special Officer to DS Najib. I first came to know Jho Low, who I call Jho, when I was the Special Officer to the EPU Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Effendi Norwawi.
19. At that time, Datuk Seri Mohd Effendi Norwawi had a Communications Officer named Dennis See. In one of Datuk Seri Mohd Effendi's work trips to Penang, Dennis See and I joined him. After the programme/meeting was done, Dennis See invited me to meet someone whom he said was really close to Najib, who was then the DPM and the Minister of Defence. Dennis See also told me that Jho is very close to DS Najib's family.
20. We met at a restaurant located in downtown Georgetown. While we were at the restaurant, a Chinese man dressed in batik came and Dennis See introduced me to the man known as Jho Low. He asked me to call him Jho. During the meeting, I found that the way Jho was telling me about DS Najib's family was as if he was in the inner-circle of DS Najib and Datin Seri Rosmah's family. The meeting lasted for about half an hour and then Dennis and I returned to our hotel. At that time, I exchanged phone numbers with Jho. Our second meeting happened when I was eating at TGI Friday in Live Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail, in early 2008. Coincidentally, Jho was eating at the same restaurant and he only raised his hand when he noticed I was there.
21. On the first day I reported for work as as the DPM’s Special Officer in September 2008, Jho contacted me via a text message that said something like, “Bro, I heard you are in DPM Office, congratulations and we will be closely in touch”. To my understanding, he meant that we would meet and be in touch regularly since Jho himself was close to my boss, DS Najib. I'm sure Jho found out that I started working at the DPM’s Office either from DS Najib himself or Datin Seri Rosmah because Jho was really close to and often met with the two of them.
22. After dealing with Jho a few times, he informed me himself that he was close to DS Najib's family. Jho told me many times that he regularly met with DS Najib's family and that at times he knew more of the plans that had been set up by DS Najib's family, which were sometimes even beyond my own knowledge as DS Najib's Special Officer. I was told by Jho that he has been close to DS Najib's family since he knew DS Najib's step-son Riza Shahriz Bin Abdul Aziz in their teens. Riza then introduced Jho to Datin Seri Rosmah. He also told me that Rosmah had no qualms for Jho to be close to their family.
23. Although Jho was still a young man, I saw that he has incredible charisma and extraordinary powers. Jho would direct those of us from the Prime Minister's Office, especially Datuk Azlin and I, in carrying out Najib's instructions. Besides that, Jho also knew other individuals in the PMO who would take action based on his orders and most of these instructions would be implemented. This situation could be seen for example in meetings that were conducted, where there were discussions about directions and implementation actions for each directive given by Jho and these were raised by those individuals. This was because he was the unofficial adviser (without official appointment/classified) to Najib on special behind-the-scenes duties that were not known by outsiders, covering many things including international programmes, work visits, business and policy proposals, charity works, as well as 1MDB.
24. Jho was also the strategist in investment matters, negotiations between Government and Government or "G to G", as well as DS Najib's political strategist, including for the funds raised by DS Najib.
25. Every directive given by Jho must also be carried out because I believe he had obtained prior approval from DS Najib. I never questioned any of these instructions. But there were times and if necessary, Datuk Azlin or myself had checked the instructions with DS Najib for confirmation. Most of the time, I was informed by DS Najib that Jho's instructions were approved by him. Datuk Azlin also informed me that, after he checked, Jho's orders were always endorsed by Najib and we were asked to take follow-up actions.
DATUK AZLIN ALIAS (KSUS YAB PM)
26. I started working closely with Datuk Azlin since I started working as a Special Officer to the DPM. At that time, DS Najib had placed me in the Economics Division and my supervisor was Datuk Azlin. After Najib took office as Prime Minister, Datuk Azlin continued to lead the Economics Division as the Director of the PMO’s Economics Division until he was promoted to become the Prime Minister's KSUS on March 6, 2014.
27. Subsequently, I was appointed as the Director of the PMO Economics Division in mid-2014. On April 4, 2015, Datuk Azlin was killed in an accident when a helicopter that was supposed to carry him from Pekan, Pahang to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in Semenyih, Kajang.
28. For as long as I knew him, Datuk Azlin was loyal to his superior DS Najib, very kind, efficient, and quick in understanding the subject matter of a discussion. He was also usually calm at work and was well-liked by many in the way he managed his work. He was also a person who knew how to keep the confidentiality of anything he discussed with Najib. Therefore, Najib placed his full trust in him because of his secretive nature and his obedience to instructions.
29. Throughout the time I worked with Datuk Azlin, I knew that he knew a lot about DS Najib's confidential discussions with Jho, including matters pertaining to 1MDB, funds that were used for 1MDB, political strategies arranged for DS Najib, and any confidential matters related to DS Najib.
30. As for the close relationship between Jho and DS Najib, Jho was in direct contact with Najib and this was a known, clear fact to many who were close to Najib and Jho. Jho knew me before he knew Datuk Azlin. Therefore, he used me to get to know Datuk Azlin better. The first meeting between the two of them was arranged by me at the request of Jho in 2009 in a hotel room, but I do not remember the name of the hotel.
DS NAJIB/JHO LOW'S MODUS OPERANDI
31. Concerning the directives and confidential meetings among the three of us, that is Jho, Datuk Azlin and I, Jho would firstly contact me via text, asking me to arrange a meeting with Datuk Azlin.
I would then refer this matter to Datuk Azlin to coordinate a suitable timing. We usually met at night at Prince Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Often on the night of our meeting, Jho would first go to DS Najib's house on Jalan Langgak Duta to discuss and obtain confirmation of the documents to be discussed with us. This we knew because Jho told us himself.
32. Often, Jho would first email the documents that would be discussed before the meeting. But every time, Jho would bring with him the necessary copies of the documents for our private meetings. Therefore, we usually did not print the emails sent to us as there usually are additions to the documents brought by Jho such as copies of letters and minutes from DS Najib.
33. DS Najib himself had never instructed us to meet Jho, but he used Jho to instruct us. I know that Jho’s instructions are what DS Najib has agreed to because as I have explained, there have been several times when Datuk Azlin or I have met DS Najib to confirm the instructions received based on the documents Jho have provided us, and DS Najib at the time did not question the directive and would agree for further action to be taken.
34. The emails sent to me and Datuk Azlin by Jho were very confidential and oftentimes, they would be sent from a random email address. I confirm that the email address Jho always used to arrange meetings and send documents to me and Datuk Azlin was [email protected]. I can confirm that this is Jho's email address because the titles or summary of the emails are similar to the matters discussed in subsequent meetings between us. Datuk Azlin also used to refer Jho's emails to me as "dealrainman". These emails would be sent to me at [email protected] and to Datuk Azlin at [email protected]. Normally, Jho would send an email addressed to Datuk Azlin and copy it (cc) to me. After 1MDB became widely discussed by the masses, Jho would often put a password on each document attached with his emails. The passwords would be given to me and Datuk Azlin via BBM message.
35. The modus operandi for our evening meetings was when we reached the Hotel Prince KL, we would be escorted by Jho's bodyguard to the room as soon as we arrived in the lobby. Normally, Datuk Azlin and I would go to the hotel separately. Our car registration numbers were references to the bodyguard and there were usually 1-2 Malay bodyguards who would accompany us. We would be quarantined while waiting for Jho, usually in a suite with rooms, a dining table and sofa. We typically would wait for 30 minutes to an hour. Although we met often at the Prince Hotel, the meetings were held in different rooms each time. When Jho arrived, he usually wore batik and was often in a hurry. He always arrived later than scheduled. Upon arriving at the meeting room, we would usually start with some small talk and Jho would distribute the documents to us in an orderly arrangement for discussion purposes.
36. My role then was only to arrange for meetings, then I would do my own thing like refer to my mobile phone while scanning through what I understood. This is because Jho and Datuk Azlin's discussions were quite quick. At the time, I was less familiar with issues such as finance, company structures and big names. Datuk Azlin was experienced in these things and I was rarely referred to. The meeting was quite cordial as Jho was likeable and always smiling.
37. Each time we met, Jho would tell us that he had just met DS Najib and he would inform us that we had been ordered by DS Najib to implement and assist in arranging planned follow-up actions.
We had to carry out these directives because we didn't want to disobey orders and worry about our job positions. Furthermore, Datuk Azlin was a loyalist and very obedient to DS Najib. I have never seen him defy DS Najib. This is one reason he was later selected to become the principal private secretary (KSUS) to DS Najib. At that time I often received instructions from Datuk Azlin as he was my Director. The frequency of our meetings with Jho was approximately once or twice a month and they were organised by Jho through me.
38. I confirm that DS Najib has never been involved in confidential discussions between the three of us. This is because he gave Jho his mandate and authorisation, as Jho said.
Secondly, this was the way DS Najib coordinated and executed confidential work by dividing work in a closed manner (work in silo) on a need-to-know basis. Datuk Azlin and I were also told that Jho was trustworthy and was in Najib's inner-circle. That is why every time the meeting took place DS Najib did not need to be present to approve Jho's actions. In fact, Jho would often meet DS Najib first before meeting us at Prince Hotel.
39. These meetings gradually became stranger as Jho's instructions became more aggressive and excessive. Every order or action to be taken had to be carried out immediately and in a short time. Sometimes these actions were very difficult to carry out immediately but we had to do it anyway. For example, a list of individual nominees for positions listed by Jho had already existed before it was made public. It would actually need to be discussed with DS Najib first. However, it would surely have been approved by DS Najib even if the list was proposed by Jho.
40. During these discussions, I sometimes saw Datuk Azlin appear shocked, raising his eyebrows as if something was strange and he even questioned what was being discussed because some of these things were unusual, such as speeding up the financing approval process. However, he would respond calmly and ask us to contact DS Najib if we wanted to be sure.
41. Most of the subsequent actions taken according to Jho’s instructions would be personally carried out by Datuk Azlin himself, unless if there were instructions assigned specifically to me. Besides that, not all items in the documents discussed could be executed as per the instructions in these documents, but they would then usually be executed through other methods.
42. There were times I would accompany Datuk Azlin to smoke cigarettes without Jho around. There were a few instances during these times that Datuk Azlin would express his doubts to me. Sometimes, Datuk Azlin would counter check Jho’s instructions with DS Najib the next morning. There were numerous occasions when Datuk Azlin told me that matters discussed the night before with Jho were verified by DS Najib and had to be executed. For example, a list of names for 1MDB’s International Board of Advisor (BOA) shortlisted by Jho was approved by DS Najib when it was brought up for review by Datuk Azlin. Datuk Azlin had confirmed the incident to me later. This revealed to me that DS Najib had given Jho the authority to make plans for 1MDB.
43. In addition, Jho always told us to dispose of any documents discussed because they were confidential, and to prevent the contents of the document from being disseminated to the wrong parties. After our discussions, I would usually dispose of the documents discussed but some I overlooked and did not dispose. I think that due to the high level of confidentiality in Datuk Azlin’s work, it was possible that all the documents received by him had been disposed of. Occasionally, Datuk Azlin would give me a copy of his documents for me to keep after meeting Jho. I was able to recognise it based on Datuk Azlin's handwriting on the documents. In addition to disposing of documents, Jho also regularly reminded us either verbally, or through email and BBM message to dispose of or delete BBM messages and emails sent or provided by him.
TERENGGANU INVESTMENT AUTHORITY (TIA)/1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BHD (1MDB)
44. With regard to the proposal to establish an investment company involving the Terengganu State Government and the Government of Malaysia, which was the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), I confirm that I had been involved in the matter from the initial discussions. My involvement was at Jho's request and was approved by DS Najib. I am of the opinion that my involvement in TIA was because Jho was not very close with Datuk Azlin compared with me. Besides that, I also think I was chosen because I used to work in BNM and am knowledgeable in the field of economics.
45. Around the end of 2008, I received a message from Jho via BBM that said something like this: "I've got approval/blessing from DS Najib for you to join meeting for TIA". I was told to attend the meeting to discuss the proposal for the establishment of the TIA on behalf of DS Najib, who was then the PM and also the Finance Minister. I asked Najib himself and he confirmed that I was attending the meeting. I also asked for the opinion of Dato Sri Ab Aziz Kassim, who was the then Chief Secretary to DS Najib, and Datuk Azlin. They both advised me to only follow instructions given by DS Najib.
46. The meeting was held at the Terengganu Palace in Kuala Lumpur and was chaired by DYMM Tuanku Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who was then the King of Malaysia. This was the first time I met DYMM Tuanku Mizan. Other individuals who were also present during the meeting were Jho and Dato Aziz, the husband of YAM Tengku Rahimah Almarhum Sultan Mahmud, the sister of Tuanku Mizan. While we were waiting for the arrival of DYMM Tuanku Mizan, Jho told me that he was at that time advisor to Tuanku Mizan.
47. The meeting was just a casual one. I was introduced by Jho to the King as Special Officer to TPM. During the meeting, we only discussed informally. Jho spoke about the proposal to establish TIA. The King took note of this proposal but did not make any decision. I also noticed that he did not respond negatively to this proposal. On completion of the meeting, we left. DS Najib was not with us in this meeting.
48. I came to know about the initial idea of the TIA's establishment that involved fund raising after Jho explained it to me himself in his house located in Apartment 3 Kia Peng. Jho sketched on a white board in his kitchen. I do not remember whether this explanation occurred before or after I was asked to represent TPM in the presence of DYMM Tuanku Mizan.
49. Only Jho and I were there when he was making the explanation. At the time, I only roughly understood the concept but the methods of issuing these bonds were unclear to me as I did not have an investment banking background. I was also not well versed about fund raising and investment structures. What I understood about the concept at the time was that the TIA would create a fund via the issuance of bonds for investment abroad. These investments were expected to bring profits to the company and these profits would be given back to the people via Government policies like community service programmes. Jho also said funds for the TIA would return to the country in the form of profits.
50. Jho also told me at the time that TIA was based on the concept of the Mubadala model (Sovereign Wealth Fund), an investment company based in Abu Dhabi owned by the UAE government. At at time, Jho also said this matter (the suggestion to set up TIA) has to be implemented because it was DS Najib's directive as well a "baby" project to DS Najib through Jho's idea.
51. During the process of setting up the TIA, I attended several meetings. Among those I remember was a meeting held at the EPF Building, Petaling Jaya. I remember it was held around the end of 2008. The meeting was attended by about five people and was chaired by Tan Sri Azlan Zainol. I don't remember who was in the meeting but I can confirm that DS Najib was not there. I'm not sure if Jho was present at the meeting but I remember that I was asked to attend the meeting on Jho's instruction.
52. The issues discussed during the meeting were related to how to issue bonds and the next steps for the TIA. I also attended this meeting as a representative from the TPM Office. Given that I had only worked for a few months at the TPM's Office at the time, I listened a lot and had no objections or suggestions. However, I informed Tan Sri Azlan Zainol after the meeting ended that if there was anything needed from my part, that he should inform me. But at the time, nothing was needed from me. I also confirm that I did not take any action or report to anyone, including DS Najib, after the meeting.
53. The next TIA meeting that I remember attending concerned the Federal Government's guarantees to TIA. Despite attending the meeting, I did not take any action and only attended as a representative of the PMO. Jho Low also attended the meeting as Special Advisor to the Chairman of the TIA Advisory Panel, which was DS Najib. I do not remember who ordered me to attend this meeting but I did attend as a representative to the PM, DS Najib. The attendance list and minutes of meetings are as follows:
54. REFER TO THE ATTENDANCE LIST OF THE MEETING ON GUARANTEE TO TERENGGANU INVESTMENT AUTHORITY BHD DATED APRIL 23, 2009
[Volume 26 Tab 1]
This is a document of the attendance list for the Meeting on Guarantee for Terengganu Investment Authority Bhd held on April 23, 2009 (Thursday) at 6.30pm at the KSP Meeting Room, 10th Floor, Middle Block. The meeting was chaired by the Secretary General of the Treasury (KSP), who was at that time YBhg Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah. Referring to this document, those present at this meeting included:
ii. Dato Aziz, representing TIA
iii. Jho Low, representing TIA
iv. Shahrol Halmi, representing TIA
v. Tan Sri Rozali, representing TIA
vi. PCP which is short for Treasury Solicitor; and
vii. SBK (Setiausaha Bahagian BPKA)
55. Referring to this list of names, I certify that all the named persons were present at the meeting chaired by the KSP based on the written and signed records issued herein, including Jho. I confirm that the signature at the space for my name was my signature and that I wrote it myself. However, I am unable to confirm the actual attendance count as this attendance list was not filled completely and was not prepared by me.
56. REFER TO THE MINUTES OF MEETING, MEETING ABOUT TERENGANU INVESTMENT AUTHORITY BHD DATED APRIL 23, 2009 IN THE MAIN MEETING ROOM, LEVEL 10, MIDDLE BLOCK, TREASURY OF MALAYSIA AND THE WORKING PAPER OF THE TERENGANU INVESTMENT AUTHORITY, BRIEFING TO MOF
[Volume 1 Tab 28]
This is the Minutes of the Meeting about Terengganu Investment Authority held on April 23, 2009. Referring to this document, those in attendance include:
i. Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Bin Wan Abdullah – KSP
ii. Tan Sri Rozali bin Ismail
iii. Dato' Abd Aziz Mohd Akhir, TIA
iv. En Shahrul Azral bin Ibrahim Halmi – CEO, TIA
v. En. Low Taek Jho – Special Advisor to the Chairman of the TIA Advisory Panel (BOA)
vi. Datuk Siti Zainab – Finance Legal Officer, BUU
vii. Datuk Nozirah Bahari – Division Secretary, BPKA
viii. En Maliami Hamad – Deputy Division Secretary, BPKA
ix. En Razali Othman – Chief Assistant Secretary KK(M)2, BPKA
57. I don't know why my name wasn't included in the attendance list as I didn’t prepare this document. However, based on the documents I referred to earlier and my own memory, I was present at this meeting. The issues discussed during this meeting were as per sheet 2 and 3 of this document. As I recall, I was rather quiet as I had less experience involving these formal meetings.
58. Another TIA meeting that I remember attending was around May 2009, and was held in the Parliament House meeting room. I was suddenly asked to attend the meeting by Dato Sri Ab Aziz Kassim, the KSUS to DS Najib at the time. The meeting was also attended by several representatives from the Terengganu State Government, including their Exco.
59. By the time I got to the meeting room, the meeting had already started. The conclusion that I could draw from the meeting was that the Terengganu State Government was dissatisfied with the structure of the TIA as there was no representative from the Terengganu State Government to represent their interest in making any decision in the TIA. In addition, the role of Chief Minister Incorporated (MBI) was not active on the board of directors. Following this meeting, I informed Dato Sri Ab Aziz Kassim of the matters discussed, which he took note of and waited for further instructions from DS Najib.
60. Jho and Datuk Azlin once told me that the establishment of the TIA was an idea brought up by Jho and agreed to by DS Najib. This was further reinforced by my presence at the Terengganu palace before the King, which would not have happened without the approval of and blessing from DS Najib. DS Najib wanted to make this TIA a "special vehicle company for strategic investment overseas". Jho acted as the consultant and managing coordinator, and the Board of Directors (BOD) in the TIA was appointed with the knowledge and approval of DS Najib.
61. There were a few occasions that Jho sent emails and met up with Datuk Azlin and I to discuss frequently asked questions that the PMO had to answer if 1MDB issues were questioned by any party. Besides that, there were also meetings where Jho had data or information prepared and asked Datuk Azlin and I to be aware of the relevant issues arising like 1MDB issues so that we were always prepared in case somebody questioned us, or if there were collaborations involving these issues.
62. Documents about my early involvement in the setting up of TIA clearly show that Jho had ensured I was appointed as the TIA Secretariat in the early days of its establishment and he asked me to take part in a meeting on April 23, 2009, which he also attended. In truth, our attendance was to represent the Prime Minister, who was DS Najib at that time. The objective of the meeting was to obtain early funding via fund raising by the Federal Government. Jho Low was also present as coordinator on TIA's behalf to confirm the agenda for TIA.
1MDB's JOINT VENTURE WITH PETROSAUDI AND AABAR
63. On the cooperation with Petrosaudi and Aabar (Middle Eastern companies), my involvement and knowledge in the issue of Petrosaudi and Aabar throughout the tenure of my service with Datuk Azlin during his lifetime was limited. Datuk Azlin was the officer in charge of handling 1MDB at the PMO and the Ministry of Finance. This was because he was experienced in investment banking and had good relationships with and knew many important individuals in the financial industry.
64. This was why Jho asked me to arrange a meeting between him and Datuk Azlin to discuss issues involving 1MDB, including Petrosaudi and Aabar. I arranged this meeting using the same modus operandi of the secret meetings that I explained before this. Normally, Jho would ask me to schedule the appointment via BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) to meet and discuss with Datuk Azlin. Sometimes, Jho would send emails first to me to print the documents attached, although during each meet up Jho himself would bring copies of the issues to be discussed for the two of us. Some copies of these documents he took back, some he didn't, on conclusion of the discussions.
65. Discussions with Datuk Azlin were usually about important matters (milestones) like big decisions that needed the PMO's involvement, appointment of individuals, drafting answers for FAQs on issues that became 1MDB's problems, the latest updates on matters that arose, and the current progress involving 1MDB for our knowledge. Usually, Jho would discuss directly with Datuk Azlin on these documents and my role was only to arrange the meeting.
66. During their discussions, I focused less on the details of the discussions because most of the time I was just playing with my handphone. My role usually was only to accompany Datuk Azlin. The action structure or key implementation instructions involving Petrosaudi and Aabar were arranged by Jho and DS Najib but we were not involved during their discussions. We knew that it had been discussed with DS Najib because Jho himself informed us that the matter had been authorised by DS Najib.
67. The distribution of duties that needed to be done depended on the relevant officers who had to do them. I would like to explain that on 1MDB's daily and operational issues which involve Petrosaudi and Aabar, that would be between Jho and the individual who took care of the said portfolio. For example, if a 1MDB daily issue arose, Jho would directly contact the 1MDB CEO, while Datuk Azlin would be given tasks related to his role as the director in PMO. I never had discussions with those individuals. I know Jho had discussions with them because Jho was the one who said he would talk to them. On this Petrosaudi and Aabar issue, Jho had a lot of direct contact with those involved at various management levels so that what had been agreed on by DS Najib could be implemented.
68. As Datuk Azlin's influence was wide enough and he was also my boss, many of the follow-up work documents were handled by Datuk Azlin when he was the Economics Division Director and the PM's principal private secretary. Most of those documents didn't go through me or I only forwarded, sent and received documents.
69. Throughout my experience with Jho, I found that he was clever in manipulations when dealing with officers of various levels and ranks whether in Malaysia or overseas, most of whom DS Najib knew of. Hence, only Jho and DS Najib would know of the most complete picture about the machinations they arranged. Jho was a "master manipulator" and in this situation, I can say now that I have been used for a dishonest purpose. Datuk Azlin and I only knew of many of the things that happened after the 1MDB issue was reported as an embezzlement issue within and outside the country because we worked in silo as our work was divided.
70. The issue of 1MDB's embezzlement by Jho Low started to be aggressively discussed towards the end of 2014 until early 2015. At the time, it had been widely reported in local and overseas media, among which were Sarawak Report, Wall Street Journal (WSJ), New York Times and Malaysian Insider. This 1MDB embezzlement issue was raised more often as time passed and each time Jho would prepare answers or direct Datuk Azlin to do damage control or follow up to contain the 1MDB issue.
71. I confirm that my role in the Petrosaudi issue is limited to the follow-up actions or communication plan where I only acted as the middleman to facilitate meetings between Datuk Azlin and Jho Low. This was especially when the Petrosaudi issue blew up in the mass media. When Datuk Azlin and Jho Low met for dicussions, I would also attend. Some of the issues that were discussed involved investments with Petrosaudi but if there were follow-up actions, they were taken by Datuk Azlin while I was not involved.
72. My direct involvement in the Aabar joint venture was to help facilitate so that the Governments of Malaysia and UAE would not bring the IPIC settlement issue to the International Court.
73. On the 1MDB embezzlement issues that were raging throughout the mass media like I mentioned above, they started to spread at the end of 2014 via a few articles started by domestic news portals like Sarawak Report and Malaysian Insider. These portals exposed Jho Low's luxurious life and his expensive and exraordinary spending and purchases, said to be using funds from 1MDB's investments. At the time, this issue started to become the topic of conversation in Malaysia and had an effect on and pressured the whole of PMO because it involved the reputation and image of DS Najib. This was because DS Najib was said to have a close relationship with Jho in various fields, including 1MDB. This matter did not become too big of an issue for Datuk Azlin at that time because the media reports mentioned were still just focusing on Jho Low and his luxurious lifestyle and not directly targeting DS Najib.
74. However, in early 2015, these exposés started to become an issue that had to be dealt with by the PMO (red flag) especially through Datuk Azlin. This was because it had started to spread on the media that the 1MDB issue involved DS Najib. Datuk Azlin was involved in ensuring the issue was dealt with because he was most skilled and knew a lot about 1MDB. This issue started to be triggered at around January and February 2015 as exposés, with supporting evidence attached — like pictures, emailed documents, bank transactions and transfers of money — about the embezzlement of 1MDB funds via the Petrosaudi-1MDB joint venture that was said to have been transferred to the private account of Jho Low, began to spread.
75. Besides that, the biggest issue which caused a negative impact to DS Najib at that time involved the purchase of real estate and the financing of Hollywood movies by DS Najib's stepson, Riza Aziz, using 1MDB funds. At the time, the name of Riza Aziz's film production company was not known but it was later exposed as Red Granite Pictures. The media that played up the issue together with evidence were well-known overseas media, namely New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and domestic news portals like Sarawak Report and Malaysian Insider. There was evidence then that exposed Riza Aziz had bought luxury properties in the US and financed the movie Wolf of Wall Street by Red Granite using what was said to be 1MDB funds. The media portal Sarawak Report at the time revealed that Riza Aziz got the money from 1MDB funds. This at once had a direct effect on DS Najib because Riza Aziz is his stepson.
76. As a result of these exposés, the issue involving 1MDB started to heat up in Malaysia and caused an uproar in PMO. The issues that were revealed were so shocking to everybody, including to me and Datuk Azlin. All this while, we (Datuk Azlin and I) had been directed by Jho Low via talking points that were given by him involving this matter to inform everyone at PMO that all these were manipulations by the Opposition and by those who wanted to see the downfall of DS Najib. Documents, including talking points which Jho sent to us in the usual way at the time, were aimed at answering these reports and the accusations that had spread.
77. During that period, Datuk Azlin informed me in our daily conversation that the 1MDB problem was spreading and a lot of attacks on DS Najib were happening as a result of the media exposés. He didn't share with me the problems in detail and only informed me about them in general. This showed that he had already started to take note that the 1MDB issue involved DS Najib. He had to do so because it was part of his task as Najib's KSUS.
78. It was during this time, in January or February 2015 (I cannot recall the exact date), that an incident that I remember well took place following the spread of the 1MDB issue. On that day, I just came into the office in PMO and was waiting for Datuk Azlin in his office as he was in a meeting with DS Najib on the fifth floor. On his return to his office, I saw he looked very stressed and he released that stress by raising his voice and saying "Duit 1MDB lah Bro!" to me, as he threw the files in his hands onto the table. I remember the situation particularly well because as long as I have known him, Datuk Azlin was someone who was always calm, polite and had never acted that way in front of me. He was not someone who liked to raise his voice.
79. At that moment, I believed Datuk Azlin's reaction was due to the media exposés regarding 1MDB like the Petrosaudi joint venture, Jho Low's spending using 1MDB funds, the purchase of luxury properties by Riza Aziz, the source of funds for the movies by Riza Aziz, and the transfer of 1MDB funds to suspicious accounts. In addition, our office was usually in an uproar when there were exposés from the media involving the misuse of 1MDB funds. These were the issues that were most hotly talked about at the time. I can appreciate the pressure that he faced as he was the one who knew the most about 1MDB. He was the individual who handled this issue on Jho Low's instuctions and as far as I know, he was also responsible in referring these issues to DS Najib. Because he was so stressed, I left his office so as not to disturb him.
80. Recently, I read an article that was published by local paper The Edge on Sept 23, 2018 that mentioned Datuk Azlin had assisted in the opening of DS Najib's private account in Ambank Islamic on Jan 13, 2011 by instructing Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, who was the SRC International CEO at the time, to handle the account on behalf of DS Najib. Datuk Azlin was also said to be the one who had arranged for the meeting between Ambank and DS Najib at DS Najib's house in Jalan Langgak Duta. The article also reported that it was into this account that a big sum, amounting US$680 million or publicly known as RM2.6 billion from 1MDB, had gone.
81. After reading the article, I was shocked because I had no knowledge whether Datuk Azlin was involved in this matter and to me, the article didn't give the whole picture of what happened. As far as I know and have mentioned before this, throughout the time I knew and worked with Datuk Azlin, he was someone who was very loyal and obedient to the leader's instruction, what more when his own boss was the Prime Minister of Malaysia himself. To my knowledge, he had never disobeyed DS Najib's instructions and he would always try to ensure that all of DS Najib's instructions were implemented. As a special officer and KSUS to DS NAjib, it was his duty to facilitate and follow instructions that were given as well as to refer to DS Najib for confirmation if there were anything he couldn't understand or had doubts about.
82. Each secret meeting or informal meeting that took place in DS Najib's house on Jalan Langgak Duta needed approval from DS Najib himself because it involved the time, schedule and access to DS Najib's private residence. It was impossible and illogical for him (Datuk Azlin) to arrange the meeting between DS Najib and Ambank in DS Najib's private residence on his own initiative without first getting DS Najib's agreement. Furthermore, it was also illogical to say that Datuk Azlin himself had wanted to arrange and make the decisions in relation to the control over and arrangement for DS Najib's account without instruction or approval from the higher-ups, like Jho Low or DS Najib himself. Throughout the more or less seven years I worked under Datuk Azlin and was trained on his modus operandi as I have mentioned before this, I believe Datuk Azlin had and did refer the matter to DS Najib to get his agreement.
83. Referring to the entry of a big amount into DS Najib’s account, as reported in the article, now only I understand what Datuk Azlin meant when he cried out “Duit 1MDB lah Bro!” in anger to me previously, which is highly likely he was referring to the entry of of US$680 million or RM2.6 billion into the personal account of DS Najib, as was reported, and not just limited to the issue that involved his stepson, Riza Aziz.
84. Datuk Azlin never shared any stories or information about this account with me. This was because Datuk Azli was a secretive person when undertaking confidential tasks and big secrets under the instruction of DS Najib.
85. Although I was not deeply involved regarding the follow-up damage control actions that came after the issue caused an uproar, I can nevertheless say that many counter measures or damage control that were done came from Jho Low via the documents he gave. Among these documents include a few letters that were referred to me, like one from the Saudi Arabia Ambassador and Embassy of Malaysia in Saudi Arabia to tackle the media exposé issue at the time. These letters were also attached with talking points that were prepared by Jho Low for media management by PMO, which was at the time handled by Paul Stadlen, to prepare a communications plan. Besides that, Jho Low also prepared notes, steps that needed to be taken and a checklist of agencies that needed to be engaged to close the investigation into the issue, including SPRM (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission), PDRM (The Royal Malaysian Police) and others. These documents were given to Datuk Azlin and I because we were the ones from PMO who could refer to and coordinate with DS Najib.
86. Throughout the time Datuk Azlin served as the Economics Division director in PMO and the PM’s KSUS, all matters pertaining to 1MDB was handled by himself. I was only indirectly involved when I joined the discussions about the 1MDB issue that involved me, Jho and Datuk Azlin. Before he passed away, I was only involved in some issues or when instructed by DS Najib to undertake ad-hoc duties because I was not given the full power to replace Datuk Azlin in his duties regarding 1MDB. Datuk Azlin passed away on April 4, 2015, not long after the 1MDB fund embezzlement issues spread in the mass media, as I mentioned above.
87. In reference to the official letter from International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) dated Nov 6, 2012, as I remember, I received the letter from Datuk Azlin. The official IPIC letter was addressed to DS Najib as Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board. When I received the letter from Datuk Azlin, the letter indeed already had notations from and signed by DS Najib.
88. However, I don’t have detailed knowledge about the content of the letter and information about this collaboration because it was under the silo scope of Datuk Azlin. All matters involving 1MDB going through PMO at the time was under the knowledge of Datuk Azlin alone. I only helped out once in a while and sometimes was involved to carry out Datuk Azlin’s instruction. Datuk Azlin had requested my assistance to forward a letter to the 1MDB chairman who was also the chairman and managing director of Boustead Holdings Tan Sri Lodin bin Wok Kamaruddin for further actions, as was instructed by DS Najib and in accordance to his notes.
89. I instructed my assistant to prepare the cover letter and I signed it myself, as was instructed by Datuk Azlin. I didn’t follow up on the letter because Datuk Azlin only asked me to forward the letter to the 1MDB chairman. I confirm that I have no knowledge regarding the discussion between IPIC and 1MDB. To my knowledge, normally letters like IPIC’s most likely came in one of three ways, the first of which would be that it was sent straight to the PMO, second, it was brought by Datuk Azlin himself for DS Najib’s approval, or third, it could be handed over by DS Najib to Datuk Azlin, possibly from the Ministry of Finance.
90. REFER TO LETTER FROM PMO ADDRESSED TO TAN SRI DATO CHE LODIN WOK KAMARUDDIN, DATED NOV 23, 2012, TITLED ‘HIS EXCELLENCY DATO SRI MOHD NAJIB BIN TUN HAJI ABDUL RAZAK PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE MALAYSIA, CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF ADVISORS 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BHD’ FROM AMHARI EFENDI BIN NAZARUDDIN
[VOLUME 8 TAB 6]
This document was the letter that was sent out by PMO to 1MDB’s chairman, who was Tan Sri Che Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, titled ‘His Excellency Dato Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Malaysia, Chairman, Board of Advisors, 1Malaysia Development Bhd’ from me. In this letter, it was stated that the letter was forwarded with several documents that were self-explanatory for the attention and further actions by the 1MDB chairman, which was Tan Sri Dato’ Che Lodin Wok Kamaruddin. I confirm the letter was signed by myself as special officer to Prime Minister DS Najib. With this letter was attached a two-page letter from IPIC dated Nov 6, 2012. This IPIC letter that was given to me by Datuk Azlin had a note from DS Najib that said, “Y.Bhg Tan Sri Lodin, I agree with the proposal [in] paragraph 2. Pls handle this matter”. Under this note was DS Najib’s signature. I can recognize the signature because as the special officer I am used to seeing his signature.
91. This letter is standard procedure whereby whenever a document is minuted or signed by DS Najib in his capacity as Finance Minister, this document would be forwarded to the relevant person. In this case, I was ordered by Datuk Azlin to forward the letter to the chairman of 1MDB at the time, who was Tan Sri Che Lodin for further action. I do not know how DS Najib obtained and signed the letter because my task was only to forward the letter to the chairman of 1MDB, Tan Sri Che Lodin.
92. There are several confidential action plans and talking points documents by Jho Low that are still in my keeping, including those involving Petrosaudi and Aabar, which are the two companies in which Jho Low had an interest in and involved a joint venture with 1MDB. Although Jho had asked me to destroy them due to concerns that they may be leaked, they are still in my keeping. Among the damage control documents relating to the 1MDB–Petrosaudi issue that were given by Jho Low and still in my keeping are as follows:
93. REFER TO DOCUMENT [TO DESTROY/SHRED DOCUMENT AFTER READING: SENSITIVE] PLEASE KINDLY FIND ATTACHED WITH APPENDIX:
i. LETTER FROM THE ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA KUALA LUMPUR TO Y.A.B. DATO SRI MOHD NAJIB BIN TUN HAJI ABDUL RAZAK WITH REFERENCE NUMBER: SA/089/11 DATED 10 MAY 2011 TITLED RE: LETTER OF SUPPORT RE PETROSAUDI INTERNATIONAL
ii. LETTER FROM AMBASSADOR OF MALAYSIA KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA TO 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BERHAD WITH REFERENCE NUMBER AMB/1MDB/01/2011 DATED 7 MAY 2011 TITLED RE: LETTER OF CONFIRMATION RE PETROSAUDI INTERNATIONAL (PSI)
iii. LETTER FROM REGIONAL MANAGEMENT COMMERCIAL BANKING DIVISION GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION DEPT CENTRAL REGION TO 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BERHAD DATED 1 MAY 2011 TITLED REFERENCE LETTER FOR MR. TAREK ESSAM OBAID IN SAUDI ARABIA
iv. LETTER FROM HELVETICA WEALTH MANAGEMENT PARTNERS AG TO 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BERHAD DATED 1 OCTOBER 2010 TITLED LETTER OF REFERENCE AND CONFIRMATION FOR PETROSAUDI INTERNATIONAL LTD (PSI), A COMPANY INCORPORATED IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA (KSA)
v. LETTER FROM J.P. MORGAN (SUISSE) SA TO 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BERHAD DATED 3 MAY 2011
[VOLUME 26 TAB 2]
These documents were the talking points and checklist appended with five letters that were prepared by Jho Low. These documents were given by Jho Low to Datuk Azlin and myself between the end of 2014 and early 2015. Jho Low had prepared the damage control steps related to the 1MDB issue that were published widely by the media, including New York Times, WSJ and Sarawak Report at the time.
94. Referring to item 5 on the front page of the talking points, it is clear that Jho Low wanted all five of the letters to be used as responses and guarantees to close cases if there were to be an investigation by the authorities against Petrosaudi. As I remember, a “Special Task Force” was set up comprising the Attorney-General, the IGP, the Chief Commissioner of MACC and the Governor of Bank Negara, which was tasked with investigating the issues surrounding 1MDB. That may be the reason why Jho had, in item 5, refered to these four individuals.
95. I am sure that these documents came up when Datuk Azlin was still alive as these documents were given by Jho to us around end-2014 to early 2015. These documents relate to the explanation that Petrosaudi had fulfilled all of its commitments and that there was no need for further investigations. Several supporting letters were also appended with the reasoning behind why the documents were prepared, as well as the background of the joint venture between Petrosaudi and 1MDB. It also describes the positive returns to the country from Saudi Arabia as a result of the agreement between 1MDB and Petrosaudi. This document has been in my keeping after the meeting among the three of us, namely myself, Datuk Azlin and Jho Low at Prince Hotel, which was where we usually met to discuss these issues.
96. The reason why these documents were given to me and Datuk Azlin was to ensure that we were always in the know about current developments, to enable us to always be ready and know how to explain the issues that were brought up by the public. Jho asked us to get rid of the documents to avoid leakage but I did not destroy them. I did not take any further action after receiving these documents but I do not know whether Datuk Azlin had taken any further action.
97. The first appendix of the document is the LETTER FROM THE ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA KUALA LUMPUR TO Y.A.B. DATO SRI MOHD NAJIB BIN TUN HAJI ABDUL RAZAK WITH REFERENCE NUMBER:SA/089/1, DATED 10 MAY 2011 TITLED RE: LETTER OF SUPPORT RE PETROSAUDI INTERNATIONAL. This letter was given by Jho Low together with the talking points on the front page. This letter was to show that the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Kuala Lumpur had affirmed their support for Petrosaudi International.
98. The second appendix of the document is the LETTER FROM AMBASSADOR OF MALAYSIA KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA TO 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BERHAD WITH REFERENCE NUMBER AMB/1MDB/01/2011 DATED 7 MAY 2011 TITLED RE: LETTER OF CONFIRMATION RE PETROSAUDI INTERNATIONAL (PSI). This letter was given by Jho Low together with the talking points on the front page. This letter was to show that the Ambassador of Malaysia in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had affirmed his support for Petrosaudi International.
99. The third appendix of the document is the LETTER FROM THE REGIONAL MANAGEMENT COMMERCIAL BANKING DIVISION GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION DEPT CENTRAL REGION TO 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BHD DATED 1 MAY 2011 TITLED REFERENCE LETTER FOR MR. TAREK ESSAM OBAID IN SAUDI ARABIA. This letter was given by Jho Low together with the talking points on the front page. This letter was to show that the Saudi Arabia Bank had affirmed support for the owner of Petrosaudi International.
100. The fourth appendix of this document is the LETTER FROM HELVETICA WEALTH MANAGEMENT PARTNERS AG TO 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BERHAD DATED 1 OCTOBER 2010 TITLED LETTER OF REFERENCE AND CONFIRMATION FOR PETROSAUDI INTERNATIONAL LTD (PSI), A COMPANY INCORPORATED IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA (KSA). This letter was given by Jho Low together with the talking points on the front page. I confirm that this letter was to show that Helvetica had affirmed support for the owner of Petrosaudi International.
101. The fifth appendix of this document is the LETTER FROM J.P. MORGAN (SUISSE) SA TO 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BERHAD DATED 3 MAY 2011. This letter was given by Jho Low together with the talking points on the front page. This letter was to show that J.P. Morgan Suisse had affirmed its support for the owner of Petrosaudi International.
102. At the time, Jho Low wanted to show that Petrosaudi was a legitimate company and that it was closely tied to and had the support of the Saudi Arabian government, as well as had links to Saudi Arabian royalty. Jho Low showed us these letters shortly after the issue of misappropriation of 1MDB funds by Petrosaudi into an account that was owned by him came up. These letters were used as evidence by Jho Low to ensure that there were no wrongdoings involved with Petrosaudi.
103. At the time, I believed that the letters were the original letters, based on the letterheads on each letter. However, based on what I have seen and gone through up to today, I can say that the contents of the letter could have been arranged and planned by Jho Low. This is based on Jho Low’s modus operandi of always setting the agenda and placing his people in various positions and places to approve and execute an agenda. He is capable and very influential, and made sure that his contacts can influence the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the Ambassador of Malaysia the Kingdom of Arab Saudi, Arab Saudi Bank, Helvetica and J.P. Morgan Suisse to issue these letters, in line with what he wanted to achieve.
104. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED “BACKGROUND”
[VOLUME 26 TAB 3]
This document is the same as the earlier document. The only difference is that it was not appended with the talking points in front, and the final page that relates to the 1MDB Rationalisation Plan Summary. In general, this document explains the legitimacy of Petrosaudi, which is owned by the son of King Abdullah, who is Prince Turki, as well as the legitimacy of the joint venture between 1MDB and PSI. Besides that, this document that gives emphasis to the joint venture also works in the favour of the Malaysian Government, not just in terms of investment but also to elevate the good relationship between Malaysia and Arab Saudi. This document was also appended with the same five supporting letters as proof that the company is legitimate, on top of it being owned by the son of the King of Saudia Arabia, King Abdullah, as I explained earlier. This document was in my keeping due to the possibility that Datuk Azlin would ask me to keep the document after the meeting among the three of us and this is my own copy, which I did not destroy.
105. I cannot explain the contents of the document in detail as most of the issues relating to 1MDB were discussed directly between Jho and Datuk Azlin, while I was more the one who facilitated their meetings and accompanied Datuk Azlin, although I was also present in the discussions. I am also not well-versed in issues relating to investment banking and corporate finance. I confirm that Datuk Azlin did discuss these issues as per the document, because based on the document, most of the events that happened were between 2014 and early 2015, before Datuk Azlin’s death.
106. I am very sure that this document originated from Jho Low because based on the contents of the document, they were items that were only discussed with Jho. Besides that, the format of the document is consistent, as all the other documents that were received from Jho followed the same format.
GE13 POLITICAL FUND – BSI BANK
107. During one of our meetings in 2012, Jho directed Datuk Azlin and I to open bank accounts overseas. I knew he had met with DS Najib prior to that as Jho said the matter had received 'blessing' and that we were ordered to open these accounts for “just in case and standby”. Datuk Azlin and I understand that the blessing came from DS Najib.
108. At the time, talks about the 1MDB issue started to go around. During this discussion, Jho Low did inform that there was a big possibility that the accounts would be used for political reasons and that he would be managing the accounts. When we learnt about this, we feared the possibility that the accounts would be used for money laundering for the purpose of storing political funds for DS Najib ahead of GE13. Moreover, at the time, it crossed my mind that if the accounts were for genuine purposes, why should I be involved in the opening of the accounts, overseas, to be managed by Jho? Although we were informed that these were only standby accounts, if the accounts were really for political funding, it was something that I did not want to be involved with.
109. However, Jho Low guaranteed that we should not be worried and to have faith in him and told us that the “boss will take care”. By boss he was referring to DS Najib. He also mentioned that if there were any questions raised relating to the accounts, DS Najib would protect us. I only referred to and asked Datuk Azlin, who had discussions with Jho, and I followed Datuk Azlin’s decisions. Datuk Azlin did say he was not comfortable with the arrangement but Jho again said that all of this were done “above board”, through proper processes and documentation, via a well-known and reputable bank. Datuk Azlin just kept quiet and Jho said he would get back to us regarding the issue before leaving the meeting as usual.
110. After Jho left, Datuk Azlin and I had a discussion and both of us had our reservations regarding the matter. I made the decision to follow Datuk Azlin’s advice because he was my boss and that he knew more about these kinds of situations than me. During the meeting, we did not give any affirmation to Jho but I figured that we had to agree because it involved private matters, which was informed to us by Jho. If we had opposed the order, we feared that we, our families and our careers would be in jeopardy.
111. During another private meeting shortly after, Jho kept insisting and assuring us that everything was arranged properly and safely. Finally, Datuk Azlin agreed to the opening of the foreign bank accounts. Therefore, I also followed Datuk Azlin’s decision and was forced to agree to the it. After Jho was informed of the decision, Jho left the meeting. Datuk Azlin told me that we had to and were forced to follow his instructions because if we don't, we would most likely lose our jobs. Datuk Azlin also said that if we don't follow, both ourselves and our family would in jeopardy as we now know of the efforts to open offshore accounts.
112. Jho Low was in control of and had arranged the whole account opening process, which he sent us to Singapore to do. I do not remember when the meeting was held but it was in a room at a hotel, the name of which I cannot recall. As soon as we arrived, Jho was already present with a BSI bank representative named Yvonne, who was introduced to us by Jho. Jho explained the procedures to open the accounts to Datuk Azlin and me. I just followed Datuk Azlin’s lead. Yvonne then began the account opening process and informed us that the process would take time before being approved. All the information, opening methods, structure and everything else were fully managed by Jho. During the meeting, I also handed over several documents including a copy of my passport and documents to confirm my place of residence. I also signed a few forms, following Datuk Azlin’s lead. We were manipulated by Jho with the help of Yvonne and another BSI officer whose name I cannot recall who was also present at the time.
113. During another private meeting between Datuk Azlin, Jho Low and I, Jho had informed that my account could not be opened, without telling me why. However, Datuk Azlin’s account was successfully opened. I felt relieved and did not take any further action to enable the opening of the account. During another meeting, however, Jho said my BSI account was successfully opened. I do not know what Jho did to enable the opening of the account. I was puzzled as to how the account was successfully opened as I did not take any further action after being informed that the account had failed to be opened previously.
114. After Jho left, Datuk Azlin told me to not touch the money because it was not ours. On top of that, Jho was the one controlling and managing the accounts and we could not manage the accounts ourselves. Datuk Azlin also told me to just follow the orders and to “just play along”. The process of opening the accounts, from the time that Jho first ordered us to do it until both accounts were opened, took less than a year. We were only informed of the accounts when Jho himself told us, without us asking. It was a one way communication and Jho, as usual, just spoke briefly about it, leaving no room for us to ask any questions. Due to that, I cannot properly recall the dates of the meetings.
115. On 4 April 2015, Datuk Azlin passed away due to a helicopter accident. I was worried, as after Datuk Azlin’s death, I was left in the dark regarding the BSI account which was under Jho’s control. In early 2016, I received a call from BSI Switzerland, whereby a BSI officer had called me and asked me if I knew of the balance in the account, and I said I didn't know. The officer then informed me that there was more than US$800,000 in my account. I was very shocked when I was told that as I did not know anything about this money. I asked the bank officer to tell me what he thinks of the inflow of money into the account. The bank officer only told me that he would contact me again. At another time, I was contacted by a BSI officer and was told that my connection with the account would be terminated and I was asked to either move the money to a company under my name or to another bank account under me. I referred the matter to Jho because there was an instruction at the time to contact him if there were any questions about the account.
116. Jho ordered me to open a bank account in Shanghai, given that there were dealings in China at the time and there was a need to go there. So, I went to Shanghai. While I was there, Jho personally helped me in opening the account but I cannot recall the name of the bank. Jho was with me during the application process but I was informed later by Jho that the application was unsuccessful. He did not tell me why the account could not be opened. He then told me to go to Bangkok to open an account at Kasikorn Bank. The account opening process was helped by a Thai national that seemed to be an acquaintance of Jho's and was not an officer of the bank. I cannot not remember the person’s name. If I recall correctly, the person’s name was stated on the application form for the opening of the account as an “introducer”. The application process to open the accounts in Shanghai and Bangkok took less than a month. The Bangkok account was successfully opened in that time.
117. After the Bangkok account was successfully opened, during a work visit in Dubai, I wrote a letter to BSI Switzerland via fax from the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, to transfer money in the BSI account to the Kasikorn Bank account and to close the BSI account. I did so on the order of BSI to transfer the money in the BSI account to another account under my name.
118. However, I was informed by BSI later, which was about one or two days after, that the request to transfer the money was unsuccessful and was told that it would be temporarily postponed and that the bank officer would contact me again if there were any updates. I informed Jho of this and he told me that he would take care of the matter on my behalf. To this day, I do not know what happened to the money in that account.
119. I sent the letter to BSI via fax from the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai because Jho told me not to send a fax using a Malaysian number and by coincidence I was overseas at the time.
120. The transfer of money from the BSI account to the Kasikorn Bank account had to be done and it was not my decision because it was BSI itself who told me to close the account. This also had to be done after I referred the matter to Jho. I did not withdraw any amount from the account for either my own or others’ use. This account was managed and fully controlled by Jho for the purpose of politically funding, like what I was told before.
121. Throughout the time this account was open, Jho is the one who manages and controls everything, like what he told us previously. I also did not dare to ask DS Najib about the amount in the account. Datuk Azlin also did not dare to ask and I recall him saying that this account was not only for political funding purposes but if I questioned something as classified as this or disagreed with it, it could threaten my job or position.
122. Generally, I think the officers in PMO had never and could never question where the funds received by DS Najib were from as that would be seen as distrustful of his credibility. I believe there were funds that came from Jho because before the 13th General Election, Jho had told me and Datuk Azlin about the funds that would be used for the election to win the majority vote in Penang. However, Jho never explained how he got the money. Even until now, I do not know anything about the status of the money in the account as it is still controlled by Jho.
123. REFER TO THE FAX SHEET DATE 28 SEP 2016 TIME 10:22, JOURNAL NO:09, PAGE(S): 001/001, DESTINATION: 006565211603 ALONG WITH THE LETTER TITLED RE: REMITTANCE AND CLOSING OF ACCOUNT
[VOLUME 26 TAB 4]
This document is the letter I personally prepared with a template from Jho regarding my instructions to BSI Bank to transfer money from my account in BSI Bank to the account in Kasikorn Bank, Bangkok. Besides that, this letter also requested BSI Bank to close my account. I confirm the amount to be transferred was USD884,996.78. I personally signed this letter and sent it to BSI Switzerland by fax from the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, on Sept 28, 2016 at 10:24am local time. As I have already explained, this letter was sent to BSI Bank because BSI itself ordered this account to be closed while Jho instructed me to transfer the money to Kasikorn Bank.
JHO LOW’S TALKING POINTS AND ACTION PLAN
124. There were several documents involving the talking points and action plans for 1MDB from Jho Low that were given secretly for the purpose of damage control for the issue of 1MDB fund embezzlement and the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) on 1MDB. Some of the documents involving damage control and talking points on the 1MDB issue that were provided by Jho and are still in my possession are:
125. REFER TO THE DOCUMENT TITLED “ADDRESSING CONCERNS ON 1MDB -- PARTICULARLY ITS BALANCE SHEET.”
[VOLUME 26 TAB 5]
This document was prepared by Jho Low. This document was received when Datuk Azlin was still alive as it was submitted and discussed around the end of 2014 until early 2015. This document is with regards to how to address 1MDB's issues from the point of view of the balance sheet. This document was in my possession because it was likely that Datuk Azlin had asked me to keep this document after the three of us met at the Prince Hotel where we met regularly to discuss matters such as this.
126. The purpose of this document was for me and Datuk Azlin to explain the issues raised in the public and for us to know so that we would be prepared to answer in case the issue was questioned. As usual, with every document discussed, Jho Low asked us to dispose of the document so that it would not be disseminated to outsiders. However, I did not dispose of this document as I might have overlooked it. Based on this document, it was for our attention. I did not take any further action after receiving the document.
127. REFER TO THE UPDATE FOR PM OF MALAYSIA DATED FEBRUARY 5, 2013
[VOLUME 26 TAB 6]
I received this document either via email sent by Jho or I was personally given this by Jho during a meeting among myself, Datuk Azlin and Jho in a hotel room in Prince Hotel Kuala Lumpur. According to the document, this is an update to DS Najib on the US$6.0 billion loan to be applied through the 1MDB joint venture with Aabar as well as the debt repayment procedure. This document is in my possession because Datuk Azlin might have asked me to keep this document after the three of us met or it was my own copy that was not disposed of. I cannot explain the contents of this document in detail because most 1MDB issues were discussed directly between Jho and Datuk Azlin while I was more of the person who arranged their meeting and accompanied Datuk Azlin, though I was present during the discussion. As I explained earlier, I am also not very knowledgeable with issues concerning investment banking and corporate finance. I confirm that Datuk Azlin also discussed this document together because based on this document, it happened on Feb 5, 2013, when Datuk Azlin was still alive.
128. The purpose of Datuk Azlin and I receiving this document was for us to be prepared if this (1MDB) issue was questioned and we took note that there were further steps that Jho had arranged. I did not dispose of this document as I might have overlooked it or did not shred it in time. I did not take any further action after receiving this document.
129. REFER TO MEMO FOR DATUK AMHARI, BRIEFING FOR PMO MANAGEMENT TEAM ON 1MDB
[VOLUME 26 TAB 7]
This document is a memo I received between the end of 2015 and early 2016. It is a memo given to me, as a Special Officer to DS Najib, by Jho Low via email. This is a note/memo/information note that I received which contains current and recent issues related to 1MDB that had to or should be clarified. Jho Low prepared this memo and he would usually take proactive action by sending it to everyone he felt needed to know about it. However, this memo may not necessarily be used. The people who usually received memos like this included DS Najib, Datuk Azlin and myself.
130. My name was written on this memo because usually, a memo like this would be given to Datuk Azlin. In view of the fact that the memo was issued when Datuk Azlin had passed away, that is why I think this memo was given to me.
131. This memo, which is also a talking point from Jho Low, serves as a reference to me in answering or informing the management of my office or for any other appropriate situation if I was asked (about this issue). I did not dispose of this document as I might have overlooked it.
132. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED 1MDB: NEXT STEPS (BOARD OF DIRECTORS, etc.
[VOLUME 26 TAB 8]
This document is the talking points that were emailed or given to me and was originally from Jho Low. This document is to plan the next steps for 1MDB in the 1MDB rationalization plan in 2015. At the time, there were proposals for a change of BOD members, which comprised mostly of individuals from the private sector, to individuals from the government sector. My name was also suggested but I was not selected as a BOD member. As far as I know, most of the plans in this document were implemented. Overall, this document shows the plans and answers from Jho Low and the appointment of BOD, the Petrosaudi issue, the IPIC/AABAR bond issue, as well as the debts incurred by the Malaysian Government to guarantee 1MDB. This document was for my attention only. I did not take any further action after receiving this document. I did not dispose of this document as I might have overlooked it, even though I was directed to do so by Jho Low.
133. REFER TO DOCUMENT “1. GOM Guarantee (GG)”
[VOLUME 26 TAB 9]
This document is the talking points on FAQs with regards to the current issues surrounding 1MDB at the time. The answers were provided by Jho Low as an update for PMO’s information. I received this document from Jho Low and it was given to me and Datuk Azlin. If I recall correctly, Datuk Azlin asked me to keep a copy of this document. I know and believe this document was from Datuk Azlin because it had Datuk Azlin's handwriting. This document is about forecast questions or questions that might be asked by the media or other parties regarding issues related to 1MDB. In this document, the questions that might be asked was how much of 1MDB's debt was guaranteed by the Government of Malaysia, how was the Letter of Support different from a Government Guarantee, what was the status of the investment fund managed by Brazen Sky Ltd, the issue of RM2 billion repayment to Maybank and why 1MDB did not explain this payment, and the last one was in respect to the IPO. These are all damage control answers provided by Jho Low because at the time the 1MDB embezzlement issue was hotly discussed in the mass media.
134. Jho Low had discussed this matter beforehand to explain the issues that have been brought up by the public and for our knowledge, to ensure that we were prepared to address any questions that might arise, or in the event that the proposal was implemented, we would be informed of the matter. I did not destroy the document, maybe because I overlooked it. This document was for our eyes only. I did not take any further action after receiving this document.
135. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED “1MDB RATIONALISATION PLAN OVERVIEW: ACCOMPANYING NOTES”
[VOLUME 26 TAB 10]
This document contains the talking points titled “1MDB RATIONALISATION PLAN OVERVIEW: ACCOMPANYING NOTES”. This document was given to me around late 2014 or early 2015. It was prepared by Jho Low and I received this note either via email or through Datuk Azlin or during the meeting among the three of us at Prince Hotel. This document was Jho Low’s plan to settle 1MDB’s debts. This note explains the rationalisation plan for 1MDB. This plan was heavily talked about at the time. Due to the fact that 1MDB was not in a good condition, the proposal was to sell all its assets and liabilities, and subsequently to close 1MDB. Jho Low planned to dispose of the assets and liabilities of 1MDB to cover up the debt issues faced by 1MDB. For example, for the Bandar Malaysia project, it was proposed that the ownership of Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd be transferred to Sg Besi Development Sdn Bhd, a company that would be set up to acquire Bandar Malaysia.
136. The reason Jho Low had discussed this matter beforehand was to explain the issues that had been brought up by the public and for our (Datuk Azlin and I) knowledge, so that we would be prepared to address any questions that might arise, or, in the event that the proposal was implemented, we would be informed of the matter. I did not destroy this document, maybe because I overlooked it. This document was for our eyes only. I did not take any further action after receiving this document.
137. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED: Q&A: 1MDB/Yayasan
[VOLUME 26 TAB 11]
This document contains the talking points prepared by Jho Low. I received this note either via email or through Datuk Azlin during the meeting among the three of us at Prince Hotel. I also received this note either around end 2014 or early 2015. This note discusses some of the latest issues related to 1MDB at the time. Among them were the latest total debt of 1MDB, whether 1MDB would be able to repay the debts, why the borrowings were made in US dollars, why 1MDB had kept its funds in the Cayman Islands, who Jho Low was and his role in 1MDB, and how 1MDB helped the government and people of Malaysia.
138. This document also shows that Jho Low intended to prepare responses to questions relating to his role at 1MDB. In para 7 of the document, it is emphasised that Jho Low had no role in 1MDB although in reality, he was secretly the main planner in 1MDB’s dealings. Para 8 shows a sample of an answer, to emphasize that 1MDB was a successful project. This answer was to deflect the allegations and accusations made against DS Najib involving the problems at 1MDB.
139. Jho Low had discussed this matter beforehand to explain the issues that have been brought up by the public and for our knowledge, so that that we would be prepared to address any questions that might arise, or in the event that the proposal was implemented, we would be informed of the matter. I did not destroy this document, maybe because I overlooked it. This document was for our eyes only. I did not take any further action after receiving this document.
140. Besides that, since 2009, Datuk Azlin and I had been accustomed to these confidential documents because there were hundreds of similar documents that were either delivered in person or via email by Jho, to carry out his instructions. This is because some of the ordres could not be executed and tehre would be new documents, including talking points and action plan, that would be sent by Jho to to accomplish what was not achieved.
141. REFER TO COPY OF EMAIL FROM Management Transformer ([email protected]) TO [email protected] SUBJECT: URGENT: Rationalization Plan 1MDB DATED Wednesday, 22 April 2015, 11:44
[VOLUME 26 TAB 12]
This document is a copy of an email from Management Transformer with the email address [email protected] owned by Jho Low that was sent to me at my email [email protected] titled “SUBJECT: URGENT: Rationalization Plan 1MDB dated Wednesday, 22 April 2015, 11:44”. I received this email three weeks after Datuk Azlin’s passing. Based on the email, Jho asked me to forward the attachment in the email, related to the rationalisation plan for 1MDB, to DS Najib. He ordered me to send a BBM message to him before informing DS Najib, because he wanted to tell DS Najib about the rationalisation plan beforehand. This email was sent out because Arul Kanda, the CEO of 1MDB at the time, had a different proposal for the rationalisation of 1MDB. Jho Low needed DS Najib to tell Arul to follow his plan, and if Arul disagreed, DS Najib should tell Arul to settle this difference of opinion with Jho and I. My name was referred to in the email as the middleman between both sides. In the email, Jho also mentioned that he would explain the plan to DS Najib himself via BBM despite not being able to explain in detail.
142. I would follow the orders in emails such as this, which contained specific directions. I contacted Jho again via BBM to inform him that I would be meeting DS Najib. Usually, he would briefly explain the attached document. However, I do not know where the attached document, related to the email, is. I do not remember the details of the document. Based on memory, I did forward the attachment to DS Najib after informing Jho and he would note the receipt and give further orders. However, for this matter, DS Najib did not give any kind of response. This email is an example of Jho Low’s modus operandi in giving me orders.
143. I know that the email address [email protected] was used by Jho because this is not an official email, as well as based on the way the words and sentences were structured. For example, “Please brief boss”. Only those that are very close with DS Najib would refer to him as “Boss”. Besides that, the use of BBM also refers to Jho because I often contact Jho via BBM only. Besides that, when I contacted Jho regarding this matter, he would be able to clearly explain the documents that were attached. I am sure that this document originated from Jho, as the contents of the document refer to items that were only discussed between Jho and me. The format of the document is also consistent with all the other documents that were given by and received from Jho.
144. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED 1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BERHAD AGENDA FOR DISCUSSION
This document contains the talking points that were prepared by Jho Low and given to Datuk Azlin. I am not sure how this document came into my possession. Datuk Azlin may have asked me to keep it on his behalf. I confirm that the writings on the document are Datuk Azlin’s. Among the matters discussed in this note were the overall summary related to the Energy IPO that was proposed, the proposal of CIMB Investment Bank Berhad’s role in the Energy IPO, the proposal for the settlement of the RM2 billion repayment to Maybank, RHB's RM5.5 billion bridging loan facility and compliance by Usaha Tegas (UT) related to the RM2 Billion Contingent Equity (CE) Obligation.
145. In the para Process and Targeted Timeline, point number 6, in this document, Jho Low ordered me and Datuk Azlin to closely work with the investigating body, which involves the authoritative agencies in Malaysia. Jho Low asked for the parties involved to avoid the negative views and perception against the rationalisation of 1MDB. I can confirm that it might have happened in early 2015 because the 1MDB issue went viral, and Jho Low even asked Paul Stadlen from the media division of the PMO to formulate a strategy to respond to issues related to the embezzlement at 1MDB. As I remember, I did not take any further actions but I am not sure if Datuk Azlin had taken any further actions.
146. I can confirm that these documents originated from Jho Low based on the following factors:
i. The matters discussed during the private meeting among me, Datuk Azlin and Jho were the same with the matters outlined in the document that was received, either via email or personally from Jho during the meeting;
ii. The format of the document that was received from Jho is also similar, including the font, spacing, bulleting, the English used, the modified sentences in the document that was given and many documents that were undated; and
iii. Jho had also contacted me via BBM every time an email was sent to me, to direct my attention to the documents. The password and email that was given to me in order to receive the emails were also personally given to me by Jho.
SETTLEMENT OF DEBT AGREEMENT OF 1MDB AND IPIC
147. In 2016, I do not remember in which month, I was called by DS Najib to his residence in Jalan Langgak Duta at night. Once I arrived, I had a meeting with DS Najib on a sofa in the living room. DS Najib ordered me to meet Khaldoon Mubarak, the CEO of Mubadala in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as a facilitator, to ensure that the governments of Malaysia and Abu Dhabi did not bring the issue relating to IPIC’s payments to the International Court. This was because Abu Dhabi wanted to bring the Binding Term Sheet issue between IPIC and 1MDB to the International Court of Arbitration as soon as possible. DS Najib explained that if Malaysia appeared in International Court due to its failure to pay the bond debts that were guaranteed by IPIC, it would tarnish the bilateral relations of both countries and posed a political risk in the coming general election, as talks about 1MDB's funds had persisted and had spread throughout the world. DS Najib said I had to go to confirm with Abu Dhabi that both nations agree to settle the issue without going to the International Court. This was one of the confidential tasks that was given to me by DS Najib, as the issue about 1MDB's debt owed to IPIC was hotly discussed at the time.
148. The Settlement Agreement was an agreement between the two nations following the international arbitration that was expected to happen but did not happen, while the Binding Term Sheet (BTS), as far as I know, was an agreement that was formed prior to this. I only found out later that the BTS was inked earlier. When the BTS could not be fulfilled, IPIC wanted to bring the issue to the International Court of Arbitration. Due to this, Jho Low planned another agreement, the Settlement Agreement, so that the Malaysian Government would not get summoned to the International Court of Arbitration.
149. Shortly after the meeting with DS Najib, once I reached home, I received a BBM message from Jho telling me that I needed to go to Abu Dhabi to meet with Khaldoon and that Khaldoon was expecting someone from Malaysia to contact him. Jho also said that he would email me the talking points for the meeting with Khaldoon as soon as possible. I was given Khaldoon’s email address by Jho, to inform him of Malaysia’s intention to discuss about the the International Court trial. DS Najib knew of the issues surrounding the repayment of IPIC’s debts, and so did Jho Low. Both of them were directly involved in making sure that I negotiate with Khaldoon. I now understand that this was a form of damage control.
150. Within a week or two of my discussion with DS Najib, I left for Abu Dhabi by myself and met Khaldoon at Mubadala’s office. I was well received and recalled whatever I remembered from the talking points that were given by Jho. Khaldoon told me that ‘various promises’ were made by Malaysia previously, which were not delivered. They wanted to see a new agreement, that if sealed would be honoured, as well as periodic payments to them. At the time, I did not understand what he meant by ‘various promises’. I now understand that he was likely referring to the BTS agreement that was inked earlier, but was not honoured. During the meeting, only Khaldoon and I were present in his office for the discussion.
151. Following the meeting, we greed that Khaldoon and I would be the facilitators for both nations in the form of backchannel, for the issue to not be brought to the International Court if an agreement was reached and that Malaysia honoured the next payment. This was a confidential assignment that I alone saw through under the orders of DS Najib and Jho.
152. The discussions for the agreement to avoid arbitration was later taken over by 1MDB and IPIC, along with their lawyers. From time to time, I would receive updates from both parties. However, Jho would always give an overall summary of and the proposed solutions of both parties. From time to time, I was contacted by Khaldoon and IPIC's lead lawyer, Martin Edelman, whom I referred to as Marty, from time to time, and they would clarify their position on the matter. This agreement was supposed to be inked before the end of 2016, but it failed to materialise as both nations could not agree on a few clauses. During the time when the agreement was supposed to be inked, DS Najib called me several times, asking for a summary of the latest discussions between both sides. This was so that he could think of the next course of action to be taken. I was officially informed by Khaldoon via a phone call, while I was on a year-end vacation overseas, that negotiations had ceased.
153. However, around April 2017, I received an email and a phone call from Marty, informing me that the negotiations were on. I was surprised as I thought that the negotiations had failed, as Khaldoon had informed me. I was of the opinion that there were other individuals (new channels) that helped in pushing for the negotiations to continue, including Jho. I was later contacted by Arul Kanda, the CEO of 1MDB at the time, and was notified of the latest status of the negotiations. After I was informed of the negotiations, Jho ordered me to facilitate the negotiations with DS Najib’s agreement. IPIC and 1MDB finally inked the Settlement Agreement in mid 2017.
154. REFER TO DOCUMENT RESOLUTION ITEMS WITH IPIC/AABAR FOR ABU DHABI TITLED ABU DHABI-MALAYSIA COOPERATION TIMELINE BASED RESOLUTION
[VOLUME 26 TAB 14]
Based on this document, this is the Resolution Items With IPIC/Aabar For Abu Dhabi titled Abu Dhabi-Malaysia Cooperation Timeline Based Resolution. Around September 2016, DS Najib once again ordered me to meet with Khaldoon to discuss the main things in the Settlement Agreement so the Malaysian Government and the Abu Dhabi Government would not have to go to the International Court of Arbitration.
155. I confirm that this document was sent from Jho’s email. Jho sent me this email before my meeting with Marty. I had to meet Marty to pave the way for negotiations to commence between the Malaysian Government and the Abu Dhabi Government. Jho also informed me that he had discussed with Abu Dhabi, via Marty, and another Arab individual, Samer. Jho also informed Azmi Tahir, the CFO of 1MDB, of this matter.
156. This document relates to the important matters that would ensure that the Settlement Agreement would be signed. In the joint venture between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, I was made to understand that Malaysia had previously missed several debt and interest repayments. According to IPIC, via Marty, the upcoming payments had to be made periodically by Malaysia and if the payments were not honoured, the agreement would be cancelled. The meeting confirmed that both parties had agreed with what was stated in the document and that 1MDB and IPIC, along with their respective lawyers, would initiate discussions to finalise the agreement. This document also states that the payments closest to the specified payment date were to be made as well as those payments which had no issues.
157. This document was given to me for use as reference during my meeting with Abu Dhabi via its representative Marty. As I remember, the discussion only involved the two of us at the One and Only Hotel in Dubai. The items in the document were also matters that I had to mention or highlight to Marty, because Jho told me that these matters had been previously discussed by himself and Abu Dhabi. Subsequently, I was informed by Marty that both IPIC and 1MDB, together with their lawyers, would fill in the details of the Settlement Agreement.
158. REFER TO THE EMAIL FROM [email protected] TO DATUK AMHARI EFENDI NAZARUDDIN DATED 4 APRIL 2017, 2.47AM WITH APPENDIX CONTAINING THE TABLE “BEFORE DECEMBER 2020 AND AFTER 31 DECEMBER 2020”
This email was sent from [email protected] to me on 4 April 2017, 2.47am. Martin Edelman is the chief counsel chosen by Khaldoon to represent Abu Dhabi, who was involved in the discussions of the process to exit the arbitration at the International Court.
159. This email was sent to me by Martin to inform me that the negotiation process to exit the arbitration (Settlement Agreement) was still in place and according to him, DS Najib was informed of the matter and had generally accepted the terms of the Settlement. At that moment, I was surprised because to my knowledge, the previous discussion I had with Khaldoon to exit the arbitration had failed and there was no further related discussions. I did not know that the negotiations between 1MDB and IPIC were still ongoing and was almost finalised. Marty asked me to arrange for the agreement to be signed. After I was informed of this, I confirmed the matter with DS Najib and he confirmed with me that he was informed of the matter. Arul Kanda and Azmi also contacted me regarding the matter, although Arul Kanda did ask me to arrange a meeting with DS Najib to discuss the matter in person.
160. A meeting was held at DS Najib's residence at Jalan Langgak Duta which I also attended with Arulkanda. Arulkanda wanted me to personally explain the status of the negotiation to him. A few days after this email was received, I received an email like in the attachment that came with this email. I confirm this attachment was received from Jho. This document showed the latest status regarding the discussion of the agreement between both sides and stated how the agreement needed to be signed at the latest on April 14, 2017. Jho's objective in sending this document to me was to give the latest status of this negotiation since in truth, Jho played a key and important role in this negotiation, behind the screen.
1MDB DEBT BAILOUT
161. I was personally assigned by DS Najib confidential tasks around June 2016. At that time, I was called to the residence of DS Najib and I was instructed to undertake a confidential mission – to go to China to confirm if there was an understanding to increase bilateral ties and investments between both countries because DS Najib was due to visit China.
162. DS Najib began to directly give me confidential instructions after Datuk Azlin passed away, and began to take over the special duties involving major secrets. DS Najib himself had requested for me to come to his residence at Jalan Langgak Duta to discuss an important matter. During the meeting, DS Najib had ordered me to go to China to confirm the cooperation between both nations. Besides that, DS Najib had also stated that I would be going to China alone and Jho Low would handle my visit there. At that time, I had to obey and agree to follow DS Najib’s orders seeing that they came from him, personally. At that time I was stressed enough by the situation and it crossed my mind to resign because the task burdened me greatly, especially since Datuk Azlin was gone; however, I had to execute his instructions as he was my boss, and what more, he was the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
163. Jho Low had at the same time contacted and emailed me to deliver instructions concerning the agenda and programme of my visit to China. However, I do not remember if the email sent by Jho was before or after I met DS Najib. While I respected and followed Najib’s instructions, this moment was the hardest part of my task. I was worried I would be involved in the schemes of DS Najib and Jho, if it was to cover up the issue of 1MDB’s missing funds and the repayment of the IPIC debt involving the abuse of 1MDB or the preparation of political funds.
164. My involvement in the China trip was a secret assignment from DS Najib and he also said it was important business. Seeing that this order came from ds Najib, I did not dare to not obey it. In addition, if I did not obey and refused to follow the order it could endanger myself or cause me trouble. At the time I was given instructions by DS Najib because I was appointed as a diplomatic representative of DS Najib in his capacity as Prime Minister of Malaysia to confirm investments to be made between companies in Malaysia and China.
165. It was only when I arrived that I learned that Jho would also be present at these discussions. Besides that, I had also received the terms of the discussion from Jho at the last minute, and it was as if the terms had been discussed prior to the meeting.
166. The confidential instructions from DS Najib were made after the abuse of 1MDB funds was widely reported. DS Najib had ordered me to go to China as his representative to confirm the economic ties between both countries, including investments between China-Malaysia. However, instead, what Jho showed through the talking points and action plan to me, the deals and cooperations appeared to be an investment to help repay 1MDB’s debts (bailout) such as 1MDB’S debt to IPIC. I also confirm that only Jho and DS Najib knew about my trip to China. This is based on the contents and agendas in the talking points and action plans that clearly show that DS Najib and Jho Low planned to use the deals with China GLCs to bailout 1MDB’s debts. In fact, I could a conclusion based on the discussion between Jho and these Chinese firms that it was to get the help of these firms to buy shares and pay 1MDB’s debts.
167. On 27 Jun 2016, I went to China alone without other delegates. When I arrived, I used Jho’s input to make courtesy calls to strengthen bilateral ties. Jho Low had brought me to see a senior officer from SASAC which was the managing body of all the GLCs in China. Jho was also present in the meeting and he played and active role, giving his opinions when discussing certian projects. I could not understand some of the things discussed because Jho spoke in Mandarin. Sometimes Jho Low would translate to me what was discussed but not all of it. However, based on the contents of the talking points prepared by Jho Low, it is clear among the agendas brought up include DS Najib’s wish to have Chinese GLCs invest in Malaysia to take over the debts of 1MDB and SRC.
168. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED TALKING POINTS FOR (DATUK) AMHARI EFENDI NAZARUDDIN
[VOLUME 26 TAB 16]
This document has my talking points during my meeting in China on June 28, 2016. The meeting followed DS Najib’s personal directive that I go to China to confirm economic cooperation between both countries, as I had mentioned earlier. These notes were prepared by Jho Low for me to read and Jho Low told me that he would personally provide a verbal translation in Mandarin to the Chinese. The notes were given to me by Jho Low himself just before the meeting began. Jho Low then said he would guide me through the preparation of the notes because he had discussed with DS Najib and besides that, he knew what the Chinese wanted. I agreed because I was alone then.
169. As stated in the talking points, on item 2, I was present as a Special Envoy to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, DS Najib. I was to bring up a few things such as:
i. Malaysia was supportive of and wanted to promote closer economic cooperation, and
ii. DS Najib had offered SOEs (state-owned enterprises) the opportunity to be involved in infrastructure projects and resolve 1MDB’s and SRC’s debts simultaneously. The sentence “while simultaneously completely resolving 1MDB and SRC debts” clearly means DS Najib wanted to convey the message that this relationship would help 1MDB and SRC by bailing them out.
170. The talking points also stated that Malaysia wished to discuss with the SOEs three projects that were under review by the Malaysian government, namely;
i. Firstly, the development of Labuan Island as an offshore banking and tourism center;
ii. Secondly, the development of petroleum pipelines from Port Klang to Kuala Kedah in the north of Peninsular Malaysia; and
iii. Thirdly, the study and development of a high-speed rail from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok.
171. I don’t remember if I read the talking points line by line because there were times that Jho Low would interrupt and translate in Mandarin, sometimes going on for longer than I spoke. These talking points were prepared for me to read by Jho Low so it proves that DS Najib himself had approved of this cooperation.
172. After I shared my opinions, Jho Low would take over and continue the meeting in Mandarin, offering more detailed explanations, just as how it was stated in the final line of the talking points that I had read out, which say “I will now hand over to Mr Liu to provide a detailed explanation of the economic program.” Mr Liu is Jho Low, where “Liu” is the pronunciation in Mandarin. I also verify that the handwriting in this document are my own notes.
173. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED “REPORT OF MEETINGS IN THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC) ON 28 JUNE AND 29 JUNE 2016; AND MEETINGS IN ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE) ON 30 JUNE 2016.
[VOLUME 26 TAB 17]
This document is a brief report of the meetings held in China on June 28, 2016 and in Abu Dhabi on June 30, 2016. After discussions with the Abu Dhabi government representative Khaldoon, on the same day, I returned to Malaysia. Upon returning to Malaysia, Jho emailed me this document.
174. Based on this document regarding the brief report for the first meeting held on June 28, 2016 with SASAC in China, the whole meeting was to discuss a trade joint venture agreement between China and Malaysia involving the strengthening of key relations with SASAC to cooperate with Malaysia. Among the salient points is the need for strong support for Najib to maintain stability and prosperity in the region as stated in bullet no. 4 in this document. In addition, Mr Xiao’s commitment towards China-Malaysia relations was also translated as he was willing to give up the rest of his work to focus on this initiative.
175. According to the documents referred to, at a meeting with SASAC Officers on June 29, 2016, among the matters raised were the debts of 1MDB and SRC, where SASAC and China’s SOE’s (China State Owned Enterprise) finalised an agreement to resolve the 1MDB and SRC debt issues before the end of July or August 2016.
176. As far as I remember, I had previously reported the contents of this document to DS Najib but I do not remember when. However, I did not take any further action and just waited for further instructions from Jho. The contents in this report include terms and discussion points that would not have possibly been at the short meeting I was in.
177. According to page 7 of this document, Jho Low was not present during the meeting in Abu Dhabi. Only Khaldoon and I were present at that time. After my meeting with Khaldoon, Jho contacted me and I informed him of the outcome of our discussion. He did not give any instructions but said he would handle the rest.
178. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED ACTION POINT: CHINA-MALAYSIA ECONOMIC PROGRAMME
[VOLUME 26 TAB 18]
This document I had either received from Jho via email or it was personally submitted by Heng (Terence Geh). However, I know that this document was provided by Jho Low because I am familiar with the format of the content and language. I confirm that this document shows in paragraph 1 that Jho Low planned to have DS Najib appoint Heng as the overall coordinator of the 1MDB / SRC debt resolution program and to attend meetings with SASAC companies from China and that Heng would also provide me with reports from time to time regarding this program. I can conclude that this document is oa follow up of my personal visit to China on 28 June 2016, where as I mentioned earlier the propsed projects were to save 1MDB (bailout).
179. This document has the talking points on the updates of the project status as well as proposed follow-up work on the three projects namely TSGP, MPP and ECRL. In this document, it is also stated who were the relevant parties with the key roles that would be responsible for each project proposal to be undertaken in joint ventures with GLC Companies of China. I confirm that this document states that Terence Geh who was introduced to me as Heng would act as Coordinator of the 1MDB / SRC debt settlement program. He also has to coordinate the outcome of my visit to China and inform me of the progress of this program from time to time.
180. This document was received by me to inform me on the project status or further actions by any of the parties involved in the TGSP, MPP and ECR because if I was asked by DS Najib, I need to be prepared to give him this information. I did not dispose of these documents as I may have overlooked them or did not have time to shred t hem. I personally did not take do any follow-up actions after receiving this document and just took note of it. The actions to be taken was coordinated by Heng as the secretariat of the Malaysia-China Strategic High Impact Economic Committee (MCSHIEC), during which he was under the supervision of Dato’ Rahman Dahlan (Minister in charge) and Tan Sri Dr Irwan Serigar, the KSP.
181. This document originated from Jho as the contents of this document pertain to things only discussed between us two. In addition, the format of this document is also consistent with all the documents that Jho had given me and I had received from him.
182. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED UPDATE ON CHINA-MALAYSIA ECONOMIC PROGRAMME: 18 JULY 2016
[VOLUME 26 TAB 19]
I received this document from Jho either via email or was personally from Terence Geh. This document is the talking points dated 18 July 2016 regarding the update of the China-Malaysia Economic Programme. This document is the result of detailed discussion of ECRL, TSGP, MPP and 1MDB issues. I do not know who was present to discuss this in detail. I personally was not present at this discussion.
183. According to this document, among the things discussed are the sale of 1MDB assets such as shares in My City Ventures Sdn Bhd, 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited and Brazen Sky Limited. Also mentioned were the payment methods to be made by Chinese Government-linked companies to
184. In addition, included in this document are answers to basic questions related to ECRL andTSGP. The purpose of this document is to coordinate and update the knowledge of all parties involved to ensure the successful signing of this project agreement. The purpose of this document which was received by me is to inform me on the status or further action of any party with respect to the TSGP, MPP and ECR projects so when asked by DS Najib, I am prepared to brief him. Jho Low asked me to dispose of the documents discussed so that they would not be disseminated to other parties but I did not dispose of them. I confirm that I did not take any further action after receiving this document and took note. The actions were coordinated by Heng as the secretariat of the Malaysia-China Strategic High Impact Economic Committee (MCSHIEC). None of these things were implemented. Usually, if things change, Jho Low would provide me with the latest updates.
185. This document is from Jho because based on the content of this document, they are only matters discussed with him. In addition, the format of this document is also consistent with all the documents provided by and received from Jho.
186. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED -- IMPROTANT ACTION ITEMS
[VOLUME 26 TAB 20]
This document I received from Jho via email or was personally submitted by Terrence Geh, otherwise known as Heng. This document contains information notes/talking points for Najib’s preparation for a presentation on the ECRL and TSGP to the Economic Council (EC). The EC meetings are held weekly to discuss important economic-related proposals. The document mentions individuals who are EC members and who may support or question the ECRL TSGP and MPP projects.
187. This document also outlines the important things to know in order for this project to work quickly. The content contained is directed to DS Najib to know the position of the individuals involved in the meeting.
188. A copy of this document was submitted to Najib and I have also informed Heng that any action stated in this document should be handled by him personally. I did not contact anyone to carry out the instructions in this document. I didn’t know if Heng had carried out the instructions. I also told Heng to make sure all the documents went through proper governmental processes such as obtaining the approval of the Ministries, Attorney General’s Chambers, Cabinet approval and others. At that time, I was busy preparing for Budget 2018 which was the busiest time of year for me as the Director of the PMO Economic Division. During this EC meeting, I was present so was Dato’ Wan Shihab. I do not know whether Najib was in direct contact with the nominees mentioned in this document.
189. Prior to this meeting, the first coordination meeting was chaired by DS Najib. Najib had agreed with the talking points prepared by Jho which stated that a person named Heng would be appointed as the secretariat for the three projects namely MPP, TSGP, and ECRL. This means that he is the main player and Jho’s strongman in Malasia to ensure that this project agreement is signed. According to an information note provided by Jho, Heng had been loaned from SSER to serve as a secretariat for the TSGP, MPP and ECRL projects. I personally referred the content of this note to DS Najib and he agreed.
190. This document came from Jho because based on its contents, it only concerns matters discussed between myself and Jho. In addition, the format of this document is also consistent with all the documents provided by Jho.
191. REFER TO DOCUMENT TITLED PRIVATE AND HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL (NOT FOR CIRCULATION) DATED 22 SEPTEMBER 2016
[VOLUME 26 TAB 21]
This document I received from Heng by hand during a meeting at the PMO. Based on this document, it is an information note provided by Terence for me during my meeting with representatives from China on 22 September 2016. During the meeting, the representatives of China consisted of Vice Chairman and Key representations of State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration of the State Council, PRC (SASAC) whose names I do not remember but there was a woman, Vice President of the Import-Export Bank of China (China Exim) whose name I do not remember and representative of the PRC embassy in Malaysia. At that time there were about four or five representatives from China. Meanwhile, Heng and his officers were with me at the meeting. During the meeting, I was the Special Officer to the Prime Minister and Director of the PMO’s Economic Division and also diplomatic speaker for the meeting while Heng assisted me as he was the MCSHIEC secretariat who was more familiar with the Malaysia-China project joint venture proposal.
192. Under the heading “Official Visit Signing-Important Next-Step and Designated Parties” it was stated that on November 1 or 2, 2016, DS Najib would make an official visit to Beijing with the aim of:
i. Obtaining the ‘Full EPCC Agreement’ which was an agreement between China Comunications
Construction Company (CCCC) with ECRL Sdn Bhd as well as CPP with Suria Strategic Energy
Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER).
ii. Obtaining the “Full Funding Agreement” between China EXIM and ECRL as well as between China EXIM and SSER; and
iii. Obtaining the “Full Renminbi Bond Underwriting Agreement” with China that was determined by the ECRL as well as between the Chinese party determined by the SSER.
193. I don’t know if this document was prepared by Jho himself or Heng. This is because Heng was also involved in providing input on the Malaysia-China joint venture project as he is the MCSHIEC Secretariat.
194. Overall, the conclusion that I can draw from the situation and the documents prepared by Jho Low is that I believe that DS Najib knew about and has given Jho Low a mandate to plan and manage the bailout efforts on losses and debt-reduction of 1MDB and SRC.
ORB SOLUTIONS SDN BHD
195. Another thing I would like to clarify is my role as a Director in ORB Solutions Sdn Bhd. As I stated earlier in my statement, in January 2010, a company was established under the name of ORB Solutions Sdn Bhd where the joint directors were myself and Noorhaina Hirawani Binti Mohd Noor. The company was set up to promote the 1Malaysia brand. It also acted as an entity to manage the 1Malaysia.com.my blog and had managed PM's social media. I was named one of the co-directors during the founding of this company because, as the Special Officer of Najib DS, I would be the intermediary and facilitator between the company and DS Najib. I further confirm that the work done by the company was for Najib. My position in this company was as a non-executive director.
196. My main function as Director of ORB Solutions Sdn Bhd was to obtain funds for company expenses from DS Najib. Since DS Najib was the only “client” of ORB Solutions, I would be informed by Noorhaina who was the CEO of the company when funds were running low.
197. Once, I requested for funds from DS Najib for ORB Solutions in early August 2013. Previously, as usual, Noorhaina would inform me when the company’s funds were running low. That’s why I met DS Najib for additional funding. DS Najib at that time handed me a cheque from AmIslamic Bank Bhd no. 571859 amounting to RM2 million dated 7 August 2013 issued to ORB Solutions Sdn Bhd for the purpose. I submitted the cheque to the company but I do not remember whether I submitted it to Noorhaina myself or to the Management Division of the company. After that, I don't know what the company did with the cheque.
198. REFER TO CHEQUE AMISLAMIC BANK BERHAD NO. 571859 AMOUNTING TO RM2,000,000.00 DATED AUGUST 7, 13, IN THE NAME OF ORB SOLUTIONS SDN BHD
[VOLUME 4 (AMLA) TAB 29]
This is the cheque I was referring to. I received this cheque from DS Najib to manage the operations of ORB Solutions and subsequently I submitted the cheque to ORB Solutions. I also confirm that the signature on the cheque is Najib's signature.