- Advertisement -

Zahid never allowed use of charity outfit funds to pay credit card debts, court hears

A former secretary to the deputy prime minister says Yayasan Akalbudi's funds could only be used to reimburse purchases made on behalf of mosques.

2 minute read
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre) arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex ahead of the trial today, August 3. Photo: Bernama
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre) arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex ahead of the trial today, August 3. Photo: Bernama

A former executive secretary of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today that the deputy prime minister had never instructed her to pay car insurance, road tax, or personal credit card payments using funds from the Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB).

Rosiah Osman, 71, said throughout her tenure as Zahid's executive secretary from 1994 to 2011, she had made all such payments through Zahid's personal Maybank cheques.

Rosiah was testifying in court today during the examination-in-chief by Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, who is representing Zahid at the defence hearing for 47 charges he is facing, namely 12 criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight corruption charges, and 27 money laundering charges involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB.

According to Rosiah, credit card bills for Zahid's wife, Hamidah Khamis, were also paid using Zahid's personal cheques.

The seventh defence witness said YAB cheques were used for charitable activities, among them contributions to mosques.

Rosiah said she managed cheques involving YAB because the foundation did not have any support staff like an accountant or secretary.

She added that Zahid had shares in four companies, namely Kretam Holding Berhad and sister companies Tekala Corporation Berhad, Ramatex Berhad, and Seng Hup Berhad.

"Datuk Seri (Zahid) had placed the proceeds from the sale of his shares in Kretam Holding and Tekala Corporation into the Yayasan Akalbudi account, but I'm not sure about the proceeds from the sale of shares in two other companies (Ramatex and Seng Hup), and I'm not aware if they went into the YAB account or not," said Rosiah.

On Tuesday (Aug 1), Rosiah told the court that Zahid used his personal credit cards first to purchase donation items for mosques as part of YAB's charitable activities, and such purchases were then reimbursed from the YAB funds.

Meanwhile, when questioned by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, Rosiah said she does not remember how many times Zahid used his personal credit cards to purchase donation items for mosques.

According to Rosiah, not all purchases of donation items for YAB's charitable activities were made using Zahid's personal credit cards.

Rosiah said Zahid's credit cards were used to purchase carpets, fans, and air conditioners as donations to mosques.

When Dusuki asked the witness why YAB cheques were not used for the purchase of donation items for mosques, Rosiah said: "Takkan nak beli guna cek, jadi guna kad kredit Datuk Seri (Zahid) dulu".

For the 12 CBT charges, Zahid, 70, was alleged to have used the funds to make six payments for his personal credit card usage, an insurance policy and licence for his personal vehicles, remittances to a law firm, and contributions to the Royal Malaysia Police Football Association.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Affin Bank Bhd branch in Jalan Bunus, off Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur, between Jan 13, 2014, and Dec 23, 2016, and the charges, under Section 409 of the Penal Code, provide for a jail term of between two and 20 years, with whipping and a fine upon conviction.

The hearing before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah will resume on Aug 7.