Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on June 6, 2022. — Picture by Devan Manuel
By Ida Lim
Tuesday, 07 Jun 2022 1:17 PM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan today said he believed then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak put him on the Finance Ministry-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) board of advisers as the latter felt his salary was too low, with the role initially providing an additional income of RM30,000 per month.
Sidek, who was chief secretary to the government from September 2006 to June 2012, also said the 1MDB board of advisers never met throughout the years he had been on it.
He said this while testifying as the 19th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial over the misappropriation of more than RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.
Sidek confirmed that Najib had in an undated letter — which was forwarded to him by 1MDB via an August 30, 2010 letter — appointed him to be a member of 1MDB’s board of advisers with immediate effect and he was welcomed to attend its annual meeting that was said would be chaired by the prime minister himself.
However, Sidek confirmed he was never invited to attend and did not attend any annual meetings, also saying he had never asked the prime minister or 1MDB for him to be appointed to that role.
Sidek said he was also not involved in any meetings or discussions about 1MDB issues or about 1MDB investment matters even though he was appointed to the company’s board of advisers, and said that 1MDB management had never reported to him on anything about the company’s operations and that both the management and board of directors had not given him any briefing or met with him.
Sidek confirmed he had received RM30,000 as monthly advisory fee as member of 1MDB’s board of advisers from July 2010 until December 2012, which was subsequently reduced to RM10,000 per month from January 2013 until June 2015.
For both the monthly payments of RM30,000 and RM10,000 that were deposited into his bank account, Sidek said he had declared these to the Inland Revenue Board for tax purposes.
“I wish to state, when Datuk Seri Najib was the prime minister, he had asked me about the salary that I was receiving as the chief secretary to the government, and he felt my salary as chief secretary to the government is quite small.
“Therefore, I consider my appointment in 1MDB is only to increase my income as chief secretary to the government which was considered not commensurate by Datuk Seri Najib,” he told the High Court.
Sidek said he had received a May 31, 2016 letter signed by Najib informing him of the dissolution of the 1MDB board of advisers, and that this was sent to him with a June 2, 2016 cover letter by then 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and which he received on June 3, 2016.
Sidek confirmed that Najib’s letter did not inform the reasons for the advisory board’s dissolution and that he did not know why it was dissolved, noting: “I also did not ask Datuk Seri Najib or 1MDB why this board of advisers was dissolved.”
Najib’s 1MDB trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes this afternoon, with Sidek expected to appear again tomorrow for cross-examination by Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
MORE TO COME