In the recent court proceedings of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case has once again revealed more details about the corruption scandal.
On 9 May, former chairman of 1MDB Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh was testified as the 15th prosecution witness in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial over the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
During the proceedings, Bakke said he had resigned as the chairman of 1MDB in 2009 as a sign of protest, following his suspicion that “something wrong” was going on at the Finance Ministry-owned company.
He revealed his suspicion that Najib was involved in 1MDB affairs and that either Najib or Jho Low had instructed for US$700 million (RM3.06 billion) out of US$1 billion (RM4.37 billion) to be transferred out without the 1MDB board’s knowledge or agreement.
Bakke elaborated that he had personally prepared his official letter dated 19 October 2009 to inform Najib of his resignation as 1MDB chairman, and that he was not influenced by anybody to resign.
“My resignation was due to the fact that the management of 1MDB refused to follow the instructions of the board of directors. As a chairman, I resigned as a sign of protest and I did not want to be involved in any discussions and decisions regarding 1MDB,” he told the High Court.
However, before sending in his resignation letter, Bakke said he had first sent a text message to Najib to inform him of the 1MDB management’s failure to follow the 1MDB board’s instructions on several matters relating to a joint venture deal involving US$1 billion of 1MDB funds, but that Najib did not reply.
“I did not receive any response from Najib. It did not cross my mind to report to any relevant authorities on the financial misconduct of the management of 1MDB because I assumed that I had already done so through my SMS sent to Najib,” he said.
“I hoped Najib will take necessary actions against the management of 1MDB if he found any misconduct on their part.”
“Since my concerns did not get Najib’s attention as he did not reply my SMS, I had a feeling that he was involved and something wrong was happening without my knowledge.” he added.
Bakke then said this is one of his main reasons for him to resign as the Chairman and a member of 1MBD’s board of directors.
He said this is not the first time he had sent text messages to Najib and that Najib would usually respond to the text message. Thus, he find it unusual when Najib did not respond that time.