SRC trial: YR1M’s first CEO got job through cousin, was never interviewed

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Former Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) chief executive Ung Su Ling leaves the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex July 16, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — The High Court was told today that the first chief executive of Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) applied for the job through her cousin and was not required to undergo any formal job interview before landing the role.

Ung Su Ling, YR1M’s chief executive from January 2013 to May last year, told the court that she applied for the foundation’s top post through Dennis See, her cousin who was employed at 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) corporate social responsibility (CSR) department.

She explained how she tendered her resignation from her position as CIMB Group CEO Datuk Seri Nazir Razak’s personal assistant and speechwriter in 2012, and learned at the end of the year about the formation of YR1M.

“I thought I would become a freelance writer as part of my job in CIMB, but then about a couple of months after that, I heard that there was a new foundation being set up, under the auspices of the prime minister.

“That the main draw, I applied for the job and got it,” she said.

Ung, the prosecution’s 49th witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, told Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah she had landed the position without having gone through a formal interview process.

Shafee: Were you then interviewed?

Ung: No, I wasn’t interviewed, but I passed my CV for the then prime minister’s consideration.

Shafee: You sent your CV to the foundation?

Ung: No, I sent it to Dennis See, of 1MDB, he was working on CSR projects of 1MDB.

Shafee: So your job application was thru Dennis, who was in 1MDB

Ung: Yes, correct.

Shafee: So you were not interviewed and the next thing you knew you got the job, is this true?

Ung: Yes.

Shafee: Who is this Dennis See?

Ung: My cousin

Ung then detailed the scope of YR1M’s CSR work with over 1,500 projects already completed, which varied from adopting, upgrading and building new schools mostly in the Eastern states, even introducing a fire fighting system for longhouses in Sarawak.

She explained that the company was set up to reflect the goals within the 1Malaysia movement, while aiding the less fortunate and those at a disadvantage, primarily targeting the Below-40 demographic.

“1Malaysia” was a slogan introduced during the Najib administration.

Najib is on trial for seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering over RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.

During the course of the trial, witnesses have testified that Retirement Fund (Incorporated) granted a total of RM4 billion in loans in August 2011 and March 2012 to SRC International, with money allegedly flowing through other companies, among them YR1M, before being transferred into Najib’s accounts.

The trial before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali resumes tomorrow.

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