KUALA LUMPUR: Former Secretary-General of the Treasury, Tan Sri Mohd. Irwan Serigar Abdullah told the High Court here today that he had to balance the positions he held in an effort to protect the interests of the country and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
According to Mohd. Irwan, he was in a very sensitive position following his position as Chief Secretary of the Treasury and Member of the Advisory Board of the country’s investment company at that time.
“It is a very fragile position. It requires the right balance and approach so that it can benefit the company as well as the country,” he said.
Mohd. Irwan who is also the 42nd prosecution witness said this when cross-examined by defense counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah in the trial of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who was charged with four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges money laundering involving the same amount.
In addition, Mohd. Irwan denied that other officials at the Ministry of Finance could not meet directly with Najib.
He said, the officers below also have direct access to Najib, especially when it comes to the affairs of national investment companies.
“That is not accurate. Other officials, sometimes the Prime Minister (Najib) calls them directly, anyone can approach him,” he said.
At the previous hearing, the Secretary of the Loan Management, Financial Market and Actuarial Division (BPKA) of the Ministry of Finance at the time, Datuk Siti Zauyah Mohd. Desa said he did not have direct access to Najib to voice his concerns about 1DMB.
He said, it is not common practice for someone to bypass a superior officer and speak directly to the Prime Minister.
The trial heard by Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on December 5. – MESSENGER
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