Jamaluddin Jarjis got rich on his own accord, says Najib

Kenneth Tee
Jamaluddin’s wealth came under scrutiny recently after his mother, Aminah Abdullah filed a suit in the Shariah court to transfer properties worth about RM2.1 billion belonging to her son to be distributed in accordance with Islamic law. ― Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA, Sept 1 ― Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied allegations that he had anything to do with the late Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis’s wealth, saying the former Rompin MP became rich through his own efforts.

Jamaluddin’s wealth came under scrutiny recently after his mother, Aminah Abdullah filed a suit in the Shariah court to get her daughter-in-law and four grandchildren to transfer properties worth about RM2.1 billion belonging to her son to be distributed in accordance with Islamic law.

“The truth is that when I became PM, Jamaluddin was already a wealthy individual who was well-known and successful.

“In 1986, he bought a company called EPE Power that was listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in the 1990s and it was this time he amassed his wealth to invest in other projects that generated revenues,” Najib said in his Facebook post.

According to Najib, it was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who awarded EPE Power independent power producer projects in Sabah during the latter’s first turn as prime minister.

Najib said Jamaluddin was given several government projects and privatisation projects, including one involving maintenance of air force aircraft and another in Lembaga Kemajuan Pahang Tenggara.

He also said Jamaluddin was appointed as the second finance minister in 2002 after Dr Mahathir became the finance minister following Tun Daim Zainuddin’s resignation.

“Even though the late Jamaludin had a good relationship with me, he never asked me for any projects,” he said.

The Pekan MP also said that it was understood that Jamaluddin had a 10 per cent share in the National Aerospace and Defence Industries Bhd after it was privatised in the 1990s, and that it was invested in Malindo Airways.

“Jamaluddin’s children then took over his business following his posting as envoy to the US which included saving an IPP which was given a licence in 1997 in Kulim, Kedah which was taken over by banks in 2004 after it failed to pay debts amounting to RM1.4 billion.

Najib said it was sad that the deceased Jamaludin could not answer the accusations against him.

“He was a highly educated man and a successful businessman. He died tragically and we shouldn’t make baseless accusations against him,” Najib said.

Jamaluddin, who was also former ambassador to the United States, perished on April 4, 2015 when the helicopter in which he was riding crashed at Kampung Sungai Pening, Semenyih, Selangor en route from Pekan, Pahang to Kuala Lumpur.

Related Articles Najib: Jamaludin tidak pernah minta projek, memang sudah kaya Peguam negara lantik bekas hakim, peguam kendali kes Najib, 1MDB AG picks private lawyer, ex-judge to prosecute Najib, 1MDB-linked cases