KUALA LUMPUR : Now-fugitive Low Taek Jho had continued to work behind the scenes in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), as 1MDB directors would not disregard his emails in view of his close relationship with then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the High Court heard on Wednesday (Nov 17).
Former 1MDB director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail said this was despite Low not having an official position in the government-owned 1MDB.
Ismee was testifying as the 13th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial involving 25 charges in relation to more than RM2 billion of funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.
Ismee said he viewed Low ― popularly known as Jho Low ― to be acting as adviser to Najib in both 1MDB’s predecessor Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) and 1MDB itself.
“Why I say Jho Low has good relationship with Datuk Seri Najib is because from what I remember, there were many times Jho Low used the name of Datuk Seri Najib when talking (percakapan) and in his proposals with the label ‘boss’ or ‘PM’ during meetings and so on.
Noting that Low was only officially appointed in TIA and TIA’s steering committee, Ismee said there were no proposals in 1MDB to appoint Low to official roles.
Ismee however said that Low was still working behind the scenes in 1MDB as the 1MDB board of directors including Ismee frequently receives emails from Low’s email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ismee said these emails from Low were sent to 1MDB’s management which was then copied to the 1MDB board of directors, with the emails being proposals to the board and management about investments to be carried out by 1MDB.
“I don’t know in what capacity Jho Low gives those emails and the level of his involvement in 1MDB.
“What I and the board of directors know, Jho Low has a very good relationship with Datuk Seri Najib. Because of the good relationship between Jho Low and Datuk Seri Najib, the board of directors did not (mengabaikan langsung) totally disregard Jho Low’s emails. But what I see in the board of directors, each matter must go through the correct channels and follow proper corporate governance,” he said.
Ismee said he would usually not take much note of Low’s emails as he knew that the latter was not anyone in 1MDB, and said he did not know why Low could send such emails.
While saying he would understand if Low sent emails to him and the directors at the TIA stage, Ismee however said: “But in 1MDB, I’m not sure why he still sent emails to me when Jho Low is not 1MDB’s official adviser. I think it was possibly be due to my capacity as a director and his good relationship with Datuk Seri Najib,” he said.
By : IDA LIM – MALAY MAIL