In April 2019, Mr Onn Hafiz was a witness in former prime minister Najib Razak’s corruption trial, which involved millions of ringgit linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
According to local media reports, Mr Onn Hafiz testified to the Kuala Lumpur High Court that his company Vital Spire received a cheque for RM240,000 from Najib to launch the Malaysian Digest portal.
Mr Onn Hafiz reportedly said he received the cheque on Jan 30, 2015 to “disseminate news and combat fake news”. The portal was shut down in July 2018.
The portal had received payment from then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as part of the latter’s media and public relations blitz in support of his administration as well as the doomed 1MDB venture which eventually cost Malaysian taxpayers upwards of RM20 billion.
On April 23, 2019, Onn Hafiz told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that his company Vital Spire Sdn Bhd received a cheque for RM240,000 from Najib to launch the Malaysian Digest portal.
Testifying in Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, Onn said he received a cheque for the amount from Najib on Jan 30, 2015 “disseminate news and combat fake news”.
The portal shut down in July 2018 after Barisan Nasional (BN) lost the general election.
Najib was found guilty of seven counts of money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust involving RM42 million of SRC money; and was sentenced to 12 years jail and fined a total of RM240 million.
Najib was a key figure for BN’s campaigning efforts in the 2022 Johor state election, going to the ground in various constituencies to rally support for the candidates.
He was also seen campaigning alongside Mr Onn Hafiz in Machap.