Shahrol also received RM179,000 a year in director’s fees and another RM1,500 each time he attended a 1MDB board meeting.
Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi told the High Court in Najib Razak’s money laundering and abuse of power trial today that he was given a bonus of nearly RM1.5 million in 2012 as the ex-prime minister was pleased with his performance.
He said the 18-month bonus was awarded when he was drawing about RM80,000 a month.
“I was told that the bonus was paid out as Najib was pleased that I was on top of things,” he said when examined by ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram.
Shahrol said he also received RM179,000 a year in director’s fees and another RM1,500 each time he attended a 1MDB board meeting.
He said his last drawn salary before resigning as CEO in 2013 was RM99,000 a month.
Earlier, Shahrol testified that he earned RM80,000 a month when he started out as the CEO of Terengganu Investment Authority, the precursor of 1MDB, in 2009.
At 1MDB, he received an increment every year.
When asked to explain the bonus payment for 2012, he said he had received a call from Najib.
“Najib asked me about the corporate social responsibility programme that we were carrying out for Yayasan 1MDB,” he said.
He added that he was excited about speaking to Najib because “not everyone gets the chance to speak directly with the prime minister”.
A few days later, he said, Jho Low called him to say that “boss (Najib) was pleased with his performance”.
Shahrol, the prosecution’s ninth witness, also said he had met Najib at the prime minister’s private residence about 20 times between 2009 and 2016.
He said he had noticed Low there “on a number of occasions” but not all the time.
He added that Low and Najib appeared at ease with one another.
He said he concluded that Low was close to Najib as the businessman appeared familiar with the layout of the residence as well as Najib’s family members.
In the final paragraph of his witness statement, Shahrol said he was removed as CEO in 2013 as he had expressed dissatisfaction with the speed at which 1MDB’s financial transactions were carried out.
“But Jho Low gave the excuse that I was kept as director to maintain a positive public perception about 1MDB,” he said.
Shahrol was transferred to the government’s Performance and Management Delivery Unit or Pemandu, a body set up in 2009 to develop the national transformation programme and coordinate its implementation.
Shahrol, 49, and an engineering graduate from US renowned Stanford University, said he is now unemployed.