Najib trial: Increased CSR funds on polls year ‘coincidental’

Najib trial: Increased CSR funds on polls year ‘coincidental’

KUALA LUMPUR: Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd (IPSB) managing director Datuk Dr Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman testified today that it was merely coincidental that IPSB received an additional RM302 million for corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in 2013 that coincided with the 13th general election.

Shamsul, who is the 37th prosecution witness in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, said the additional funding came from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) when cross-examined by Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh.

Harvinderjit: It is just coincidence that it was the election year and has no connection to you (IPSB) receiving funds?

Dr Shamsul: Yes.

Dr Shamsul Anwar was asked to clarify his testimony regarding the increase in additional funding for the period of 2012/2013 compared to 2011/2012 on whether the additional funds were because of GE13 that was held in May 2013.

According to IPSB’s financial statement shown to the High Court previously, the company only received additional funding around RM62 million in 2012.

He also told the court previously that IPSB received RM40 million in annual grants from Yayasan 1MDB and YR1M to conduct CSR programmes exclusively in areas held by Barisan Nasional (BN) or Umno under a signed agreement.

IPSB had undertaken CSR projects that were meant for the poor, Orang Asli, disaster victims, fishermen and school children nationwide.

To a question on whether the funds were spent in constituencies regardless of the political leanings, Dr Shamsul confirmed that was the case.

He also said Umno or BN flags were not displayed in those CSR projects, nor were these projects called “BN projects”.

“We never put that. For some houses, we just put ‘projek Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.’ But some houses don’t want that.”

Elaborating his point, IPSB conducted Nadi Kasih project in 2013 with an allocation of RM78.5 million. It was a house repair project for the poor done nationwide.

He said there were no directives to only focus on BN-held states.

Prior to GE13 in May 2013, Penang and Kelantan were both Opposition-administered states in the country.

Najib is currently on trial over seven charges including money laundering and criminal breach of trust over the RM42 million belonging to former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.

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