KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – Ad-hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram told the High Court yesterday that former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should have stepped down from his post as the Finance Minister then to take responsibility over developments concerning the Minister of Finance Incorporated-owned SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Citing the Westminster model of governance, he said, the finance minister in-charge would have resigned if problems like the one surrounding SRC occurred.
Sithambaram asked, “If something like this happened in the Westminster model of government, the finance minister would have resigned. Do you agree?”
Najib replied. “I disagree. I reserve my comment for later. Actually, I have a lot to say… there were many examples that I could give.”
Sithambaram said, “It’s okay sir. This is my case. Please don’t make a political speech.”
Najib answered, “You are the one suggesting it. So if an aeroplane goes missing, the Minister of Transport must resign? Ridiculous.”
Sithambaram said, “Datuk Seri, I’m suggesting to you that you should take responsibility in this case.”
Najib said, “Disagree.”
The heated argument between the former prime minister and Sithambaram over the matter was stopped by Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who is presiding over the case, told them to move on to the next question.
Najib is making his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International funds, comprising three counts of criminal breach of trust, three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of position in relation to the SRC funds.
To another question, Najib said that he was not aware that SRC was not making any investment.
Sithambaram asked, “Why did you not step in? It involved pensioners’ money, how could you have not known?”
Najib replied, “There is a system of reporting, I did not know at that time.”
Sithambaram asked, “But you kept quiet for seven years, the alarm bells were ringing but you did nothing. Do you agree or disagree?”
Najib answered, “No, I disagree”.