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Zahid used own credit cards to buy charity outfit donation items, court told

A defence witness says the purchases were then reimbursed from Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

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

The Kuala Lumpur High Court was told yesterday that Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had used his personal credit cards first to purchase donation items for a mosque as part of Yayasan Akalbudi's (YAB) charitable activities.

Rosiah Osman, 71, who was Zahid's executive secretary at the time, said the purchases were then reimbursed from YAB funds.

Rosiah said Zahid's credit cards were used to purchase carpets, fans, and air conditioners as donations to the mosque because the foundation did not have a credit card.

"We receive the credit card statements every month. I will scrutinise it to separate Datuk Seri's (Zahid) personal expenses from those related to Yayasan Akalbudi.

"I make the credit card payments using designated cheques, with Maybank cheques for Datuk Seri's personal expenses, while those related to the Akalbudi Foundation are the foundation's Affin Bank cheques," she said.

Rosiah was testifying during the examination-in-chief by Hamidi Mohd Noh, who is representing Zahid, 70, at the defence hearing for the 47 charges he is facing, namely 12 criminal breaches of trust, eight corruption charges, and 27 money laundering charges involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB.

The seventh defence witness said that upon her retirement on Dec 7, 2011, she handed over the cabinet keys, Zahid's used and unused personal cheque books, as well as those belonging to the foundation, to Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly, who took over her duties.

"I instructed Major Mazlina to use Datuk Seri's personal cheques to pay his credit card expenses and YAB's cheques to settle YAB-related expenses.

"I also instructed Major Mazlina to use Datuk Seri's signature stamp for festive cards, invitation letters, certificates, and letters of appreciation," said Rosiah, who started working as Zahid's personal secretary in 1994.

Rosiah further agreed with the lawyer's suggestion that, throughout her service, Zahid had never instructed her to use the signature stamp for cheques.

Earlier, Zahid's special officer Mohd Kamal Abdullah, during cross-examination by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, said he found Mazlina was often careless in managing the cheques in 2013.

The sixth defence witness said that Mazlina's careless mistakes included issuing cheques with the wrong amounts as well as incomplete cheques, which involved YAB's expenses too.

"As far as I know, Datuk Seri Zahid is a conscientious person, but he will not fire his staff. He will only reprimand. Mazlina was reprimanded many times, but she still did not change," he said.

The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow.