Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Not a penny in charity outfit was from govt or taxpayers, says Zahid

He says the Yayasan Akalbudi funds came from his income when he was in the corporate sector.

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Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the Kuala Lumpur High Court today that not a single sen of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds had come from the government or the people.

Instead, he said, the tens of millions in the foundation belonged to him.

Zahid, 69, said the source of the foundation’s funds was his income when he was in the corporate sector before becoming an administrative member of the government.

“Before I became a member of the administration, namely deputy minister, minister or deputy prime minister, I was in the corporate business sector. I used to head four companies listed on Bursa Kuala Lumpur and used to be the chairman of Bank Simpanan Nasional.

“There were some contributions from friends and businessmen who had nothing to do with the portfolio I was holding, but not a single sen was from government contributions or the people’s money or from the taxpayers,” he added.

He said this when questioned by his lawyer, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, on the third day of his defence proceedings for 47 charges of breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

The Bagan Datuk MP also told the court that his income and allowances as the CEO, executive chairman and chairman of a corporate company exceeded his family’s expenses and needs.

“So I was determined, on the advice of my father who was a mudir or the principal of a religious school in Bagan Datuk, to channel the surplus income to people in need through donations, alms, infak, tithe for welfare and religious purposes in Yayasan Akalbudi.

“The funds in the Akalbudi Foundation fund were from my personal income as well as the allowances I received during my corporate business activities,” he added.

Zahid also said he had received dividend payments from the companies concerned which he deposited into the foundation, adding that he had conducted stock market transactions for income.

Zahid faces 47 charges – 12 of breach of trust, eight of corruption and 27 of money laundering – involving tens of millions of ringgit in funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

On Jan 24, the court ordered Zahid to defend himself against all of the charges after the prosecution succeeded in proving a prima facie case.

The trial continues before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

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