Najib intended to shut down 1MDB in 2015 - The Edge chairman

21 Nov 2022 05:35pm
Datuk Seri Najib Razak had intended to shut down 1MDB due to its serious financial debts, the Kuala Lumpur High Court, heard. - Photo: BERNAMA
Datuk Seri Najib Razak had intended to shut down 1MDB due to its serious financial debts, the Kuala Lumpur High Court, heard. - Photo: BERNAMA
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KUALA LUMPUR - The chairman of The Edge Media Group today told the High Court here that Datuk Seri Najib Razak had intended to shut down 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) due to its serious financial debts.

Tan Sri Tong Kooi Ong, 63, said the former premier told him this during a meeting that took place at Najib’s residence in Langgak Duta, here, on March 6, 2015.

The 43rd prosecution witness said this when queried by lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at Najib’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1MDB.

"After I explained to him the hand-written notes and the problem arising (in 1MDB), he told me he would close 1MDB. I then proceeded to say that someone should be held (accountable).

"From my briefing note, I clearly showed that the US$700 million was diverted to Good Star Ltd, a company owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low and he (Jho Low) should be prosecuted,” said Tong.

Tong said Najib was quiet when he mentioned Jho Low and he then stood up and opened the door for him.

Muhammad Shafee: Did he (Najib) ask you, "Tong, get out”?

Tong: No, he did not ask me to leave. He never said a word.

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When asked if every time Tong was in Najib's house, the former premier had walked him to the door, Tong said that to his recollection, that meeting was the first time the duo were alone in the house.

Muhammad Shafee: I'm just a mere lawyer. Whenever, (I meet with him) he walks me to the door. Maybe you were sensitive to the fact that your briefing didn't have the kind of expectation, you think he was showing you the door?

Tong: In my mind the gesture was not what you would have described it. I was surprised that he just stood up, walked to the door and opened it...after I said it (issues in 1MDB) he didn't say anything, he stood up and opened the door, that was the totally of it.

The witness however, described Najib as a polite man and claimed he had never been rude to him.

Last week, Tong testified that Najib stood up and went to the door and opened the door for him to leave when he told him that Jho Low had done something wrong and should be investigated and prosecuted.

Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow. - BERNAMA