Pay too low so chief secretary to the govt appointed to non-existent 1MDB advisory role

A former chief secretary to the government today revealed that he received about RM1 million for his non-existent advisory role in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

(NST) – Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said he was appointed to the role by Datuk Seri Najib Razak after the then prime minister told him that the chief secretary’s monthly salary was too low.

Sidek said he was subsequently paid RM30,000 monthly allowance from July 2010 after he was appointed to the role by Najib, who was also the then chairman of the 1MDB board of advisors.

The 71-year old, who served as chief secretary to the government from Sept, 2006 until he retired in June, 2012, said his advisory fee was however reduced to RM10,000 monthly from Jan 2013.

Sidek said he continued receiving the monthly payments until June 2015, when the 1MDB board of advisors was finally dissolved.

“I confirm that I received the advisory fee payments from 1MDB and this money was banked into my CIMB account. I declared all of it to the taxmen (Inland Revenue Board).

“I also confirm that I was never invited to attend any meeting to brief or to be briefed by the 1MDB management…no one from the company ever met me for this purpose,” he said when testifying in the 1MDB trial involving Najib,

Sidek said he subsequently only found out about issues faced by 1MDB through media reports and other sources over the internet.

“I found out that 1MDB funds had been misappropriated. I also found out that local enforcement agencies like the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) had started investigating the company.

“However, I was never briefed about any of it…Najib also never told me anything about it,” he said while reading for his witness statement.

Sidek said he too never bothered to ask Najib why no board of advisors meetings were ever held, or about issues faced by 1MDB because he always thought it was established to generate political funds for Barisan Nasional.

Sidek was taking the stand as the 19th prosecution witness in the trial where Najib is accused of misappropriating RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.

Earlier, Sidek pointed out that he had never asked to be appointed to the 1MDB board of advisors but it happened after Najib once asked him about his pay as chief secretary to the government.

“Najib asked me how much I was getting and later said he felt my salary was too low.

“That is why I think my appointment to the 1MDB board of advisors was purely meant to increase my income…Najib felt I was not getting enough as chief secretary to the government,” he said.

Sidek will be cross examined by Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah tomorrow.

The trial before High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.