The chairman of The Edge Media Group told the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday that Najib Razak had intended to shut down 1MDB due to its serious financial debts.
Tong Kooi Ong, 63, said the former prime minister told him this during a meeting at Najib’s residence in Langgak Duta, Kuala Lumpur, on March 6, 2015.
The 43rd prosecution witness said this when questioned by lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at Najib’s trial on the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1MDB.
"After I explained to him the hand-written notes and the problem arising (in 1MDB), he told me he would close 1MDB. I then proceeded to say that someone should be held (accountable).
"From my briefing note, I clearly showed that US$700 million was diverted to Good Star Ltd, a company owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low and he (Jho Low) should be prosecuted," said Tong.
Tong said Najib was quiet when he mentioned Jho Low, and that he then stood up and opened the door for him.
Shafee: Did he (Najib) ask you, "Tong, get out"?
Tong: No, he did not ask me to leave. He never said a word.
When asked if the former prime minister had walked him to the door every time he was at Najib's house, Tong said that as far as he recalled, that meeting was the first time the duo were alone in the house.
Shafee: I'm just a mere lawyer. Whenever, (I meet with him) he walks me to the door. Maybe you were sensitive to the fact that your briefing didn't have the kind of expectation, you think he was showing you the door?
Tong: In my mind, the gesture was not what you would have described it. I was surprised that he just stood up, walked to the door and opened it... after I said it (issues in 1MDB) he didn't say anything, he stood up and opened the door, that was the totality of it.
However, he described Najib as a polite man and claimed he had never been rude to him.
Last week, Tong testified that Najib had stood up, gone to the door and opened it for him to leave when he told him that Jho Low had done something wrong and should be investigated and prosecuted.
Najib, 69, 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 trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues today.