KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh today explained that he did not complain about irregularities in 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) US$1 billion deal in 2009 directly to then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as his complaint would be about his suspicion of Najib himself. Bakke had resigned as 1MDB chairman in October 2009 shortly after taking up the job, with his resignation being in protest of how the 1MDB management had acted against the 1MDB board’s instructions over the deal involving US$1 billion of 1MDB funds.

Bakke gave the explanation of why he had not complained to Najib in 2009 while testifying today as the 15th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial over the misappropriation of more than RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.

Today, lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram asked why Bakke had not made a complaint to the Finance Ministry and then prime minister Najib about his own frustrations about what had happened in 1MDB.

Bakke then replied: "Well, because the thing that restrained me or discouraged me from doing that, is really, complaining against the PM.” Sri Ram then remarked: "Complaining the loss of sheep to the wolf”.

Bakke then said: "That was the thing, because from the early part of my involvement as a board member, I was not comfortable already, I had this feeling of discomfort, especially when I found out that management had split the remittance, so that was the trigger, I felt very uncomfortable about the whole thing.

"And that prompted me to resign, I wanted to resign on the spot. To go back to PM and tell him this is what had happened, I have my suspicion on you. I was not comfortable, so that’s difficult.

"But I suppose how I responded to Tan Sri Shafee’s question earlier is that looking at it in its entirety, maybe I should have done that, and be bold enough to say whether PM or not, I am prepared to stick out my neck, but it was not done,” he added.

Najib’s 1MDB trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah is scheduled to resume on June 7.


- malaymail