Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Zahid took out RM9 million from charity’s account after GE14, court told

MACC investigating officer says this was within Zahid's power as the sole signatory of Yayasan Akalbudi.

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Ahmad Zahid Hamidi withdrew RM9,302,823.66 from Yayasan Akalbudi, the charity-based foundation which the former deputy prime minister owns, after the 14th general election (GE14), the High Court in Kuala Lumpur was told today.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer, Khairudin Kilau, 44, said based on his investigations, the money was taken out on May 28, 2018 and transferred to the Yayasan Al-Falah account owned by Zahid’s younger brother, Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi.

“The transfer was within the power of the accused (Zahid) as he is the sole signatory of Yayasan Akalbudi,” he said under examination-in-chief conducted by deputy public prosecutor Lee Keng Fatt.

Khairudin, the 99th prosecution witness, was testifying on the 52nd day of the trial against Zahid who faces charges of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving millions of ringgit from Yayasan Akalbudi.

Asked by Lee why the money was transferred, Khairudin replied: “I am not too sure about that. The minutes of the meeting and resolution on the money transfer could not be found.”

On transactions involving the Yayasan Akalbudi account from Dec 12, 2012 to May 31, 2018, Khairudin said based on the statement of Yayasan Akalbudi’s Affin Bank Bhd’s account, these involved about RM100 million.

Reading his witness statement, Khairudin said some RM360,000 of the foundation’s funds were used to pay TS Consultancy & Resources to conduct a survey and research on voters.

“The owners of the company, Jasni Majid and Sabri Said, confirmed that TS Consultancy was established in 2015 for a voter registration programme with the cooperation of Umno, and that when it was formed it received funds from Umno,” he said.

On Yayasan Akalbudi’s establishment, Khairudin said the foundation’s office had never operated from the address registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), which was 69E-4, Jalan Raja Abdullah in Kuala Lumpur.

“We could not obtain Yayasan Akalbudi’s annual report, audit report and meeting minutes because there was no office operating at the address registered with SSM,” he said, adding that the foundation had never submitted the documents to SSM either.

Asked whether he had enquired about the documents with foundation secretary Mahinder Kaur Teja Singh, Khairudin replied that Mahinder had told him that she was never in possession of the documents because the foundation had never held meetings or had audit reports done.

Khairudin said investigations found that Messrs Lewis & Co, as suggested by the defence, was not the foundation’s trustee, neither had it ever represented it.

“Lewis & Co’s clients were Yayasan Al-Falah and Zahid himself. Lewis & Co managed Zahid’s civil suits,” he said, adding that there were no official links between Yayasan Akalbudi and Yayasan Al-Falah.

Khairudin is the 10th MACC investigating officer called to testify by the prosecution.

Zahid, 68, faces 47 charges – 12 for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit of funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.

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