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Zahid seeks permanent return of passport

He says this is to enable him to carry out his official duties as deputy prime minister.

2 minute read
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Photo: Bernama
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Photo: Bernama

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has filed an application at the High Court to have his passport permanently returned to him, to enable him to carry out his official duties as deputy prime minister.

His passport was surrendered to the court as an additional bail condition after he was charged with 47 counts of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering linked to Akalbudi Foundation funds, the proceedings of which are now at the defence stage.

In an affidavit in support of the application, Zahid, 70, said the application was bona fide (in good faith), and only meant to apply for permission for a passport so that he could carry out his official duties.
Zahid, who is also the rural and regional development minister, said he had faced some constraints in carrying out his duties like other ministers as he does not have access to his passport.

"As the deputy prime minister, I have received the mandate and responsibility from the 10th prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, to represent him in several administrative matters," he said, having filed the notice of application, along with the supporting affidavit, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, on Jan 20.

To enable smooth movement in his official capacity as the deputy prime minister, Zahid said he was required to be in and out of the country, and that this would necessitate him holding his own passport.

In addition, Zahid said he needed the passport as it was required for his application to obtain a diplomatic passport from the immigration department, for official business within and outside of the country.

"It is appropriate for the court to consider that the approval of the application will bring good and continuity to the administration of Malaysia, which is the responsibility of every citizen in this country," he said in the affidavit.

Zahid also said the application was not mala fide (malicious) or prejudiced against any party, as he promised to continue his full cooperation for the disposal of the case until the end of his defence case.

"I am giving my word that I will comply with all the conditions set forth by the court, and will give full cooperation to attend the trial on the dates that have been set," he said.

He also said the application could reduce the number of applications for the temporary release of his passport in order for him to go abroad for official business.

The Bagan Datuk MP said he had no intention of fleeing the country and not attending the court proceedings as he was still an MP and active in the political field. He also said that all of his family members were in the country.

Zahid applied for the court to waive the additional condition of bail – the surrender of the passport to the court – and requested that it be permanently returned to him as soon as possible, while maintaining his RM2 million bail with one surety.