Foreign visa system trial: Zahid met company rep in house before making decision on contract renewal

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The High Court was today told that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi met with a representative of Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) at his house in Seri Satria, Putrajaya before making a decision to extend the company’s contract for Foreign Visa System (VLN) for three more years.

Bernama

Former Home Ministry Immigration Affairs division secretary, Datuk Shahril Ismail said the former deputy prime minister also rejected the proposal of his division to take the matter to the Public-Private Partnership Unit (UKAS).

“On June 15, 2017, I received a call from Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani (director of UKSB) and he said that Datuk Seri Zahid (Ahmad Zahid) had agreed to extend the contract of UKSB for three years and asked me to bring the part of the minutes to the house of Datuk Seri Zahid at Seri Satria in Putrajaya for the minister’s approval.

“Upon arrival at Datuk Seri Zahid’s house, Wan Quoris Shah was waiting for me and he told me to wait for the green light first following a meeting of the company’s representative with Datuk Seri Zahid.

“Later he invited me to enter and meet Datuk Seri Zahid. In the meeting with Datuk Seri Zahid, I handed over the part of the minutes for his decision and signature. I also informed him of my division’s proposal,” he said and added that the meeting was held during fasting month several days before Hari Raya.

He said when reading out his witness statement in an examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Zander Lim Wai Keong.

When asked in a supplementary question by DPP Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, whether it was usual for a private company (stakeholder) to discuss in the minister (Ahmad Zahid)’s house to obtain a government contract?

Shahril: It is usual as I have brought documents to a minister’s house before but with a stakeholder, I think this is my first time.

The 10th prosecution witness also said his meeting with the former home minister and Wan Quoris Shah in the accused’s house was held when his division informed UKSB’s director that the extension of VLN contract for six years had to be processed by UKAS and approved by the Cabinet.

“Wan Quoris Shah later informed him that he would discuss with Datuk Seri Zahid on the matter,” he said and added that UKSB had earlier received the contract to supply the VLN system in China for six years from November 1, 2013, to October 31. 2019.

According to the service contract extension, any company that wished to extend its contracts for more than seven years must get the approval of the Cabinet through UKAS.

Replying a question by DPP Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran on the need to bring the part of the minutes to Ahmad Zahid’s house on that day, Syahril said it was to obtain the decision in black and white (written) by the Umno president.

“Earlier, we only received a verbal order from Wan Quoris Shah that the company has discussed with the minister (Ahmad Zahid),” he said and that the minister did not agree with the decision of our division,

“So to confirm the decision of the minister, I met the minister directly to obtain the decision in black and white. We cannot process the verbal decision as informed by (Wan Quoris Shah) so we need the written decision on an official government document for us to process. We did not consider the verbal decision as valid,” he said.

Rozela: To accept the order from Wan Quoris Shah?

Sharil: Yes

Rozela: Company representative giving order to government officer?

Sharil: It is more than just for information

Ahmad Zahid, 69, is facing 33 charges of accepting a bribe of SG$13.56 million from UKSB, for himself as home minister to extend the company’s contract as the operator of OSC Services in China and VLN Systems as well as maintaining a contract agreement to supply VLN integrated systems to the same company by KDN (Home Ministry).

For the other seven charges, Ahmad Zahid is alleged to have obtained for himself SG$1,150,000, RM3 million, EURO15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from UKSB that had links with his official duties.

The trial before Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa continues on April 1.


Earlier report:

Mar 7, Foreign visa system trial: Zahid ordered issuance of cover letter for extension of company’s contract