Man identifies Najib as 'Bossku' in court

Happy witness: Abu Talib at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR - The infamous phrase "malu apa bossku" found its way to the Kuala Lumpur High Court when an Umno leader used it to identify former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Johor Baru Umno secretary Abu Talib Alias was being cross-examined by DPP Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi over a RM300,000 (S$98,400) cheque that he received from Najib in 2015, through one of Najib's officers, the late Datuk Azlin Alias from the Prime Minister's Office.

When he was told to identify Najib in court, Abu Talib looked at the dock, where Najib was seated, and said: "There he is. Malu apa, bossku", which sent the courtroom bursting into laughter.

Najib, who is facing charges related to SRC International fund mismanagement and money laundering, chuckled.

Abu Talib said he was told by Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad to collect the cheque from Azlin.

Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who then cross-examined Abu Talib, questioned if RM300,000 was enough to last the division for a year.

"No, we need at least RM600,000 because we have 86 branches under us and we organise a lot of programmes," he said.

Padang Serai Umno chief Datuk Asmadi Abu Talib testified that Najib issued a RM50,000 cheque to him, which he deposited into his personal account instead of the Padang Serai Umno account due to "fears that there would be problems".

Asmadi clarified that if the money was deposited into the Umno account, it would need to be brought up during the general meeting and the accounts would also have to be audited by external auditors.

"If the money is banked into my own account, the money goes directly to the division's leadership.

"The leadership is aware of the RM50,000," he said, adding that the funds had been completely used up for charitable programmes involving schools, NGOs and various associations.

Meanwhile, the wife of Najib's late former private secretary testified that Najib had given money amounting to RM52,680 in three cheques to help fund her two children's education.

Manisah Othman, 55, who is the wife of the late Amirudin Mohd Baria, said Najib visited her husband one month before his death when Amirudin was admitted to the Prince Court Medical Centre in June 2013.

Amirudin, who was Najib's private secretary when Najib was the education minister, was battling colon cancer then.

"He (Najib) said he would help pay for the children's education. Alhamdullilah (praise to God), I did receive the help," she said, adding that she received a cheque worth RM13,800 in 2015.

During cross-examination, Manisah agreed that Najib also paid RM9,360 in 2013 and RM29,520 in 2014 through cheques.

She said her two sons, aged 23 and 27, are still studying.

"My youngest son has a kidney problem. He should have finished his studies but he had to defer his studies due to his condition.

"We are planning to do a kidney transplant from the elder son to the younger son. Both are behind in their education because of this," she said.

Earlier, the court made an order that no recordings of court proceedings of any form, including the court recording transcriptions (CRT), be permitted to be live streamed, telecast, shared or uploaded on social media.

The matter was brought up by ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram who raised the issue about a short video clip entitled "Hari Kelima Perbicaraan Dato' Seri Najib (the fifth day of Datuk Seri Najib's trial) that was uploaded on Facebook by Najib's former special officer Isham Jalil.

Justice Mohd Nazlan reminded the public not to make any prejudicial comments on the ongoing trial, particularly concerning analysis on the evidence and witnesses which may prejudge the issues.

He added that some may have been prejudicial to a fair trial and may constitute contempt of court.

Najib faces seven charges involving RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The trial continues today.