Zahid: Millions in foundation belong to me

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Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the Kuala Lumpur High Court today that not a single sen of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds came from the government or the people.

Instead, he said, the tens of millions of ringgit in the foundation belonged to him.

Zahid, 69, said the source of the foundation’s funds was from his income when he was in the corporate sector before becoming an administrative member in the government.

“Before I became a member of the administration, namely as deputy minister, minister and deputy prime minister, I was in the corporate business sector.

“I used to head four companies listed on Bursa Malaysia and used to be the chairman of Bank Simpanan Nasional.

Devan Manuel

“There were some contributions from friends and businessmen who had nothing to do with the portfolio I was holding, but not a single sen was from government contributions or the people’s money or from the taxpayers.”

He said this when questioned by his lawyer, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, on the third day of his defence proceedings on 47 charges involving breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

The Bagan Datuk MP also told the court his income and allowances as a chief executive officer, executive chairman and chairman of a corporate company exceeded his family’s expenses and needs.

“So, I was determined, on the advice of my father, who was a mudir or principal of a religious school in Bagan Datuk, to channel the surplus income to people in need through donations, alms, infak, tithes for welfare and religious purposes in Yayasan Akalbudi.

“The funds in the Akalbudi Foundation fund are from my personal income as well as the allowances I received during my corporate business activities,” he said.

Apart from that, Zahid said, he received dividend payments from the companies concerned which he deposited into the foundation and also conducted stock market transactions for income.

Zahid is facing 47 charges, comprising 12 for breach of trust, eight charges of corruption and 27 charges of money laundering, involving tens of millions of ringgit in funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

On Jan 24, the court ordered Zahid to defend himself against all the charges after the prosecution succeeded in proving a prima facie case.

The trial continues before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.