KUALA LUMPUR: The story of a homemade “nasi goreng” (fried rice) came up during the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MBD) trial here as a witness tried to illustrate to the High Court why he trusted fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, who was central to the scandal.
Former 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, 50, said he could whip up a good meal of fried rice and had treated Low, better known as Jho Low, to the dish.
“I gave some to him for him to give to Najib. He brought me feedback that Najib liked my ‘nasi goreng’, ” Shahrol said when cross-examined by Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah here Thursday (May 21).
The witness, who was the 1MDB CEO from 2009 until 2013, said that gave him some comfort that Jho Low had access to Najib’s home at any time.
“These are the small things that built up over time that made me believe it was a very close relationship (between Najib and Jho Low), ” Shahrol added.
Shafee: Did Najib ever said to you “Shahrol, that nasi goreng was good”.NAJIB
Shahrol: No, he did not.
Shafee: So you had full confidence in Jho Low. Nothing made you question him.
Shahrol: Yes.One of Shafee’s lawyers was then seen passing notes to the lawyer that made Shafee chuckle.
Shafee: My assistant just posted a note. Going by that logic, he (Jho Low) would probably have consumed all the nasi goreng.
Shahrol: He probably well did.
The lawyer then proceeded to ask the witness several more questions but went back to the fried rice, saying that he was impressed with the story.
“One day, I will make it for you, ” Shahrol responded.
Najib, 67, is facing four charges of abusing his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.28bil in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money.
The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on June 4.