1MDB Asked for RM3B to Set Up SRC, but Was Granted Only RM20M

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EPU rejected 1MDB application for RM3 billion grant.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court was told that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) asked for an RM3bil grant from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) to set up its subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd but failed to secure the amount.

Instead, it was given RM20mil in launching grant.

Datuk Dr Kamariah Noruddin, 61, who was EPU’s former deputy director-general (macro), said the Finance Ministry received a letter for the application dated Aug 27, 2010, from 1MDB.

“Basically, the letter was an application for an RM3bil in funds to set up SRC, which was a special vehicle in order to maintain the strategic state, production, logistics and trading in key resource areas like oil and gas, coal, iron, among others,” she said on Thursday (April 2).

1MDB’s managing director Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi signed the letter, she added.

Kamariah said it was a difficult application to process as it was out of the ordinary.

“It was an application by 1MDB to the (then) finance minister and prime minister (Najib), which was then forwarded (to the EPU).

Seth Akmal/TMI

“It was a hard application to process as I do not normally handle applications from the prime minister. They (applications) are usually applied through the respective ministries,” she said.

She added that the letter was also extended to other Cabinet members.

Her then-superior Datuk Noriah Ahmad asked her to go through the application.

She said Noriah had also received a directive from then-minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who oversaw the EPU, to prepare comments for the application.

“I prepared a memo which was addressed to Najib through Nor Mohamed Yakcop and signed by Noriah,” she said.

Kamariah said in the memo, EPU supported 1MDB’s proposal to start SRC for the purpose of securing coal and uranium.

“However, we did not support the proposal for oil and gas as that purpose was already led by Petronas.

“For steel and aluminium, it was proposed that we continued allowing the private sector to run it.

“Therefore we did not support the RM3bil grant,” she said.

Kamariah said the EPU nonetheless still helped the establishment of SRC with an RM20mil launching grant.

Kamariah, who retired from civil service last year, said that she had sent a letter to Shahrol to inform the company about the RM20 million grant.

“The PM’s Department and 1MDB had agreed with the RM20 million grant.

“The RM20 million was just to establish the company. Maybe they needed to get the talent they required and for them to do due diligence,” she said.