RM360,000 payment to TS Consultancy not for helping Umno in voter registration – Zahid

KUALA LUMPUR — Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today denied in the High Court here that two cheques amounting to RM360,000 issued by Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) to TS Consultancy & Resources were intended to help UMNO in the registration of voters in 2015.

Ahmad Zahid, 69, who was UMNO vice president in 2015, also said that he was not aware that that the company, which provides training services, was set up by UMNO for registration of voters.

“I have stated that the RM360,000 payment made by YAB to TS Consultancy was for the printing of the Quran,” he said, adding that the Quran printing was also in line with giving to charity as in the  memorandum & articles of the foundation.

He said this when questioned by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran when defending himself on 47 charges, namely 12 counts of criminal breach of trust, eight counts of bribery and 27 money laundering charges, involving tens of millions of ringgit of YAB funds.

Raja Rozela: Do you agree or disagree Datuk Seri as UMNO vice president at that time you were not informed (initiative to establish TS Consultancy).

Ahmad Zahid: It was never discussed during the UMNO Supreme Council meeting, let alone with me (as vice president).

Raja Rozela: Datuk Seri don’t you remember the testimony of TS Consultancy chairman, Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar in court who said that his company was funded by UMNO headquarters?

Ahmad Zahid: No, I was not aware.

The former deputy prime minister also disagreed with Raja Rozela’s suggestion that he had been briefed by Wan Ahmad that the company needed YAB’s financial assistance.

He said what Wan Ahmad told him was the mandate for the printing of the Quran had been given to Restu Foundation chaired by Datuk Latiff Mirasa.

On the RM10 million cheque from YAB to Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd, a company that imports and supplies coal, Ahmad Zahid said the cheque signed by him was for investment purposes.

Ahmad Zahid said he had met Armada Holdings chief executive officer Datuk Wasi Khan @ Wasiyu Zama Israr and Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa, the husband of singer Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin, to hold discussions on a coal project in October 2015.

“Your Honour, the explanation given by Datuk Wasi is that the company (Armada) intends to be a supplier of coal to TNB’s subsidiary (TNB Fuel Services Sdn Bhd) and Datuk ‘K’ (Khalid) explained in detail to Armada about the charges imposed by TNB to register as a contractor,” she said.

When asked by Raja Rozela if he knew that Armada Holdings was not incorporated yet when the RM10 million cheque was given to him, Ahmad Zahid replied: “not to my knowledge”.

Raja Rozela: This means that due diligence (checking before the decision) supposedly by Datuk Seri  was not complete.

Ahmad Zahid:  Yes, incomplete.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow. — BERNAMA