Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd managing director Dr Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman said he was “forced” to issue cheques for individuals or entities not known to him, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur was told today.
During cross-examination by Harvinderjit Singh, Shamsul said he issued cheques on instructions from one Dennis See Thuan Buan, the 1MDB corporate social responsibility (CSR) director.
Shamsul admitted that the request was unusual, but he complied anyway and did not escalate the matter.
Harvinderjit: In your mind, you must have a rough idea what these (cheques) were for.
Shamsul: I asked him (See) and he said, “You need not know”.
Harvinderjit: Did anything at that stage make you suspect Najib (Abdul Razak) was involved?
Shamsul: I did not suspect anything.
Shamsul testified that he attempted to inquire about the recipients of the cheques, but was frustrated by See, whose response was he was merely following orders and that Ihsan Perdana should just do the same.
A later part of his testimony saw Shamsul stating that he was obliged to comply because Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia and 1MDB funded Ihsan Perdana’s CSR work.
At one point, Harvinderjit drew Shamsul’s attention to the fact that RM143 million was transferred to Ihsan Perdana’s account in April 2015.
Following this, Shamsul affirmed that he had signed 28 of Ihsan Perdana’s cheques amounting to RM73 million to Mail Global Resources Sdn Bhd.
Shamsul also affirmed that he signed cheques amounting to RM3 million to one Razli Talib and one Razlan Shah and also an RM42 million cheque to accounts which the court now knows is under Najib’s name.
He said he had inquired about the AmBank private accounts with the numbers ending ‘906’ and ‘880’ but was unsuccessful.
Harvinderjit: If you had an inkling that these accounts (belonged) to the sitting PM and you had direct access to him, would you have called him?
Shamsul: Yes. I would have if I had known (who the accounts belonged to).
Shamsul affirmed that he did not know where the RM143 million came from at the time and that he had followed instructions from See to allow Ihsan Perdana’s bank account as a transit point.
Harvinderjit: What was (See’s) exact word?
Shamsul: Pinjam akaun (borrow the account).
Harvinderjit: You felt compelled (to agree), but you did not think about anything illegal?
Shamsul: We discussed. Why us? We are doing CSR projects. Why borrow our account for unknown people? See said he was following instructions as well, and he gave instructions (to me). – Malaysiakini