“I want justice,” says Ahmad Zahid

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

KUALA LUMPUR – Former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture) told the High Court here today that Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) had contributed more than RM109 million for charity and denied an allegation by the prosecution that not a single cent of the foundation’s funds was used to help the poor.

Ahmad Zahid, 69, said the RM109 million was only part of the contribution for charity by the foundation as there were others that were not listed because of his principle (as in the Malay proverb)  “tangan kanan memberi, tangan kiri tidak perlu mengetahui” (What the right hand gives, the left hand does not need to know).

“On this Friday, I do not want to contradict any statement from any party, but when the list of D5 and D6 (list of charity work) was submitted to Yang Arif, I have to say that the statement on not a single cent was given by Yayasan Akalbudi to help the poor is not,” he said.

He said this in his defence when questioned by his lawyer, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal on the prosecution’s statement.

Ahmad Zahid is defending himself on 47 charges involving breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

On Nov 18, 2019, the prosecution, in its opening statement, stated that they will prove that Ahmad Zahid had misappropriated RM31 million in Akalbudi Foundation funds and not a single sen of the money had been used for the benefit of the poor.

The Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament said he wanted justice to be given to him as his action was for good.

“The money (in Akalbudi Foundation) is from my own sources, my own income, my own allowances, my own business. It is with good intention, placing the money in a foundation which I set up, myself.

“Is this something that should be subjected to humiliation, embarrassment and to be oppressed?,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid, however, admitted that there were technical errors due to weaknesses of several parties, especially the company secretary of the foundation.

“There are technical weaknesses, but in terms of purpose and practices,  it is only for the good because of Allah SWT alone,” he added.

According to Ahmad Zahid, he had appointed Idris Kechek and Mahinder Kaur as the company secretaries for Yayasan Akalbudi and that Idris, who held the post for 10 years since 1997, never updated and submitted the account report fo the foundation) to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

“Only in 2012 after the change of the members of the Board of Trustees, I found out that Idris Kechek never sent any documents to SSM or prepared an account for the Akalbudi Foundation.

“In 2012, Mahinder Kaur was appointed company secretary for YAB to replace Idris Kechek. However, it was only in this court that I found out that she had prepared the documents for the change of trustees, the accounting documents and others, but did not send them to SSM,” he said.

He also said Samsuri Tun, Zulkifli Senteri, Muhammad Nabil Saleh and Datuk Khairuddin Tarmizi had been appointed as YAB trustees.

Questioned by Ahmad Zaidi whether the four YAB trustees had ever contributed to the foundation’s fund, Ahmad Zahid replied that 100 percent of the foundation’s fund was from his own money.

“It’s my own contribution to the foundation and not a single cent from any of the trustees that I appointed,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid is facing 47 charges with 12 of these involving CBT, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit of Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

Last Jan 24, the court ordered Ahmad Zahid to make his defence against all the charges after the prosecution managed to prove a prima facie against him.

The trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on May 23.