The eighth day of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial saw the defence suggesting that the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) was an idea by Terengganu ruler Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who was then the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin (pic), who is Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s former special officer, disagreed.
He was questioned by Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah during cross-examination on what he meant when he said that 1MDB is Najib’s “baby”.
Amhari told High Court judge Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah that “baby” meant something held dearly by Najib, such as the 1MDB or policies he made.
Shafee: From the beginning, this was his idea? It is something important to him from the beginning?
Amhari: It’s his baby, it’s something important to him. I don’t know if it was his idea.
Shafee: It could be someone else’s idea?
Shafee: And you do not know who?
Amhari: Don’t know.
Shafee: You realise that the idea to set up TIA was the idea of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong himself. Nobody else. I put it to you that you are aware of that.
Amhari: I don’t know.
Shafee then referred the court to a declassified Cabinet meeting minutes back in 2008 where Najib was still a deputy to then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He pointed out a page of the documents to Amhari, where Sultan Mizan, who was then the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, proposed the setting up of TIA with RM10bil.
Shafee also highlighted another page where the proposal by Sultan Mizan was to ensure the sustainability and resilience of the Terengganu economy was taken care of.
He added that fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, known as Jho Low, drafted the request for the proposal and that Low had shown interest from the very beginning.
Shafee: There are two things here, therefore don’t beat around the bush. This is the Sultan’s project, and Jho Low was there as early as that.Amhari: I know Jho Low has been early in this involvement in TIA. As far as the blessing of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, it didn’t occur to me that it was the Agong’s baby.
Shafee: It didn’t come to you when you drafted your witness statement?
Amhari: I put it as Najib’s baby.
Shafee: You agree that you are quite wrong because documents speak louder than your words.
Amhari: It is possible.