Funds amounting to RM360,000 from then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi via charitable fund Yayasan Akalbudi were fully spent on efforts to help the then Barisan Nasional administration sign up new voters, and were not used to print the Muslims’ holy book Quran, a witness told the High Court today.
Former Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar insisted on this while testifying as the 18th prosecution witness against Zahid in the latter’s trial over alleged corruption and misappropriation of Yayasan Akalbudi’s RM31 million.
Wan Ahmad confirmed that RM360,000 made its way via two cheques in 2015 and 2016 to the company TS Consultancy & Resources for the purpose of helping then ruling party BN to register new voters, adding that these funds were spent only on the company’s operating costs and related costs on the field during voter registration exercises.
Zahid’s lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal then showed Wan Ahmad photocopied excerpts from copies of Al-Quran that were purported to be printed with the aid of the RM360,000.
Zaidi: The RM360,000 that was paid or given as a contribution to TS, part of it is to pay for the cost of printing this Quran, do you know or not?
Wan Ahmad: No.
In the photocopied excerpt, an organisation known as Yayasan Restu was stated as making a note of appreciation and thanks to a list of individuals including Datuk Abdul Latiff Mirasa as the chairman and member of Yayasan Restu’s board of trustees.
Wan Ahmad, who said he had never sighted the excerpt, also confirmed that he had never heard of Yayasan Restu and did not know who Abdul Latiff was.
When suggested by Zaidi that the printing of the Quran was done by Yayasan Restu, Wan Ahmad said he did not know.
Wan Ahmad also disagreed when suggested by Zahid’s lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh that he could have been mistaken about the use of the RM360,000 cheques.
Wan Ahmad later confirmed to the prosecution that there is no link between Yayasan Restu and TS Consultancy.
Later, the court also heard that Zahid’s foundation gave RM1.3 million to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) Football Association for the management of the association in November 2015.
The association’s assistant secretary ASP Mohd Nizam Mohd Noor, 39, said the cheque dated November 19, 2015 was received from Zahid’s son-in-law, Zul Hisham Zainal who was the intermediary between the association and Zahid.
According to the 20th prosecution witness, the cheque was later handed to the association’s assistant treasurer Sgt Khairul Azuan Ramli to be banked into the association’s account.
When referred to a CIMB Bank account statement of the association dated November 30, 2015 by deputy public prosecutor Nur Aishah Maulat Ahmad Zakiuddin, Nizam confirmed finding the sum of money amounting to RM1.3 million banked into the association’s account in a transaction dated November 23, 2015.
When cross-examined by counsel Rosal Azimin Ahmad, who is representing Zahid, Nizam said before receiving the cheque, he had informed Zul Hisham that the association needed RM1.3 million to pay about three to four months of player salary arrears.
ASP Mohd Nizam Mohd Noor.
Rosal Azimin: I am proposing that Zahid need not help (association) but he himself wanted to give the aid (money).
Nizam: Yes, correct.
When Rosal Azimin proposed that on July 14, 2016, the National Sports Council (MSN) had paid RM1 million back to the foundation and the remaining RM300,000 was a form of assistance from the foundation to PDRM, the witness replied that he was not sure.
Earlier when reading his witness statement, Zul Hisham said he did not know that Zahid, his father-in-law since 2004, owned Yayasan Akalbudi or any other foundations.
Nov 21, Zahid’s Trial: Day Four
Nov 21, Zahid’s Trial: Day Three
Nov 19, Zahid’s Trial: Day Two