Did You Know
Did You Know
KUALA LUMPUR - The late Datuk Seri Azlin Alias, who was Datuk Seri Najib Razak's principal private secretary, could have very well carried the secrets of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to his grave.
And this had left Najib's former special officer Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin to bear the full brunt of the constant dealings with Low Taek Jho and Najib over the debt-laden firm.
The High Court here was made to understand that both Amhari and Azlin acted out of fear of losing their jobs and harm towards themselves and their families when they carried out Low's orders.
The usually composed Amhari struggled to hold back tears while reading his witness statement yesterday as he spoke about Azlin's demise and the stress he went through.
A court interpreter handed Amhari a box of tissue at the witness stand when he choked up yesterday while testifying before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
He told the court that the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP), Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) were the mega projects that were meant to bail out 1MDB.
Amhari said he was called to Najib's residence in Jalan Langgak Duta where he was given a confidential task to go to China to ensure that there was an understanding to improve the bilateral relationship and trade pending Najib's visit to China.
"Najib began giving me confidential instructions after Azlin passed away, and I took over the special tasks, which involved huge secrets.
"He said I will go to China alone and Jho Low will arrange my visit there. I had to agree and follow Najib's orders because it came from Najib himself.
"I was really stressed about this and it also came across my mind to resign because this is burdening me, especially since Azlin's demise," Amhari said, adding that Low also contacted and emailed him to give orders on the agenda and programme for the China visit.
"Although I respected and obeyed Najib's instructions, this is the most difficult point of my job," he said.
Amhari was worried that he would be dragged into the arrangement between Najib and Jho Low if it was to cover up for the losses of 1MDB, the payment of debts to International Petroleum Investment Company due to the embezzlement in 1MDB or due to political funding.
Amhari went to China as Najib's diplomatic representative, only to find out that Low was also involved with the discussions in China.
The terms that would be discussed with China was only made known to Amhari at the very last minute, which gave him the impression that the terms were pre-discussed.
Low led the talks with China's state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), and would only translate certain parts to Amhari as the whole session was conducted in Mandarin.
Amhari said his talking points that were prepared by Low included Najib's offer to China's state-owned enterprises (SOE) to be involved in infrastructure projects while simultaneously completely resolving 1MDB and SRC's debts.
The talking points also included Malaysia's intention to discuss with the SOE about three projects being studied by the government, namely the development of Labuan as an offshore banking and tourism hub, the development of petroleum pipelines from Port Klang to Kuala Kedah, and the study and development of a high-speed railway from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok.
Amhari also told the court that Low made Najib appoint Terence Geh as the overall coordinator for the 1MDB/SRC debt resolution programme.
Also known as Geh Choh Heng, Geh is one of the key figures wanted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the 1MDB scandal.
Amhari said the first coordination meeting chaired by Najib also saw him agreeing to a note prepared by Low to appoint Geh as the secretary for MPP, TSGP and ECRL, making him the main player and Low's right-hand man to ensure that all the projects' agreements were inked.
Meanwhile, Amhari was also assigned to meet Mudabala Investment Co. chief executive officer Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak in Abu Dhabi to resolve the dispute between 1MDB and IPIC outside the International Arbitration Court.
Here, Low also played a vital role in resolving the matter and provided Amhari with the talking points.