KUALA LUMPUR — Sept. 14, 2020: A former CEO of the company related today how he felt 1MDB had fallen into what he thought was the biggest trap in Malaysian corporate history.
Mohd. Hazem Abdul Rahman was at one point concerned with the amount of money being used by the company for projects and that he intended to quit his position as a result.
Hazem told the court he remembers telling a former chief financial officer about this in September 2013.
The former CEO further claimed in his testimony to have been told by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho @ Jho Low that 1MDB was formed primarily to help obtain funds for Umno but no other details were offered by Low.
Hazem also related that he first met Low through his close friend, the late Datuk Azlin Alias, who was a senior secretary to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is in court to face multiple charges of misappropriating RM2.28 billion from the sovereign fund.
The meeting took place not long after Hazem had sent in his resume for the post of chief operating officer, which he eventually assumed.
According to Hazem, Low also told him 1MDB was under the control of Najib, who had ultimate power over it.
“Jho Low also told me that the members of the board knew who he was and understood that the purposes of 1MDB activities were for Najib, and that he (Low) played a role as Najib’s proxy,” claimed Hazem.
Of further concern to him when he was COO and managing director in 2013 was Najib’s intervention in making important decisions. The company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association gave Najib absolute powers.
Hazem will continue his testimony tomorrow before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah.