Najib defends RM80k expenditure on leukaemia prevention

FORMER premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak defended his expenditure of RM80,000 from Saudi royalty on supplements and vitamins for leukaemia prevention five years ago during a hearing at the High Court.

Assistant Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Criminal Investigation Division assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Foo Wei Min said this under cross-examination by Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Shafee pointed out the RM80,000 payment from Najib’s bank account ending with 694 to Vital Spire Sdn Bhd.

According to excerpts from Najib’s statement read out in court, he stated that he took the supplements for his general health and as a preventive measure after his late father who is also the second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein passed away from leukaemia.

In the statement, the former prime minister noted he had “this fear as a prime minister and if he had a similar situation like Tun Razak, he would not be able to carry on with the administration of the country, so he wanted to prevent this (leukaemia)”.

During the cross-examination, Shafee questioned Foo about Najib’s claims regarding the total cost of the medicine, which Najib allegedly stated was about RM1 mil or less.

Najib reportedly mentioned that he could have obtained this treatment from the government but he chose not to burden the government and used money he believed to be donations. Foo acknowledged that Najib had made such statements.

Moreover, the 48th prosecution witness also verified various transactions involving Najib’s account including a RM9 mil payment to Zeal Hi-Tech Solutions Sdn Bhd for goodie bags and souvenirs for UMNO members, a RM9 mil payment to textile retailer Jakel Trading for a charity programme in Pekan, Pahang, as well as several payments to political parties.

Shafee subsequently implied that his client could not be labelled a kleptocrat since he did not use the funds for personal enrichment. The witness refrained from commenting on this assertion, stating he was not in a position to comment.

Furthermore, Najib is currently facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 bil from 1Malaysia Development Bhd funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The hearing before presiding judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. – Nov 9, 2023


Main photo credit: Bernama

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