Thursday, September 23, 2021

Last drawn salary was RM97,000, ex-1MDB chief tells court

Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman says he received RM93,000 when he began as CEO in 2013 with a five-month bonus that same year.

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Former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman told the High Court in Najib Razak’s corruption trial yesterday that his last drawn salary for his position was RM97,000.

Hazem, 48, said he received RM93,000 when he began as CEO in 2013 with a five-month bonus that same year.

“During my tenure as the CEO, I received (the bonus) twice. The second one was 10 months’ bonus in 2014,” he said.

Hazem, the 10th prosecution witness, was replying to additional questions from deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustafa P Kunyalam.

Hazem said he first joined 1MDB as chief operating officer (COO) in 2012 and replaced his predecessor, Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, the following year.

“As the COO, I received a monthly salary of RM65,000,” he said.

Before joining 1MDB, Hazem was managing director of Sime Darby Auto Connexion. His last drawn salary there was RM38,000.

The High Court previously heard that Shahrol’s last drawn salary as CEO was RM99,000 a month and that he received a bonus of 18 months’ pay.

During cross-examination, lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah went through Hazem’s career progression, in which the witness said he was paid RM1,800 pay when he first started as a senior executive with Arab Malaysian Merchant Bank from 1996 to 1998.

In 1998, he said, he earned RM2,500 a month as a senior executive at Dana Modal Nasional Bhd.

“Then I moved on to Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia Kuala Lumpur as an investment analyst in 2002. My last drawn salary there was about RM12,000.

“In 2002, I joined Deutsche Bank Kuala Lumpur as an investment analyst until 2006, with RM15,000 as my last drawn salary.”

Hazem also testified that when he joined 1MDB in 2012, it was Shahrol who interviewed him at Eastin Hotel in Petaling Jaya.

Shafee: Were you headhunted by Shahrol?

Hazem: He did not headhunt me. It was my former boss at Arab Malaysian Merchant, Nor Badli Mohd Alias.

Hazem said Nor Badli was a friend of Ismee Ismail, who was one of the board members at 1MDB.

“Nor Badli told me that 1MDB was looking for a COO and I could send my resume directly to Ismee if I was interested,” he said.

Najib, 67, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The hearing will continue before justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Oct 5.

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