MACC investigator tells Zahid trial other VIPs in UKSB ledger not probed as beyond inquiry’s scope

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

SHAH ALAM, Aug 10 — A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigator said he did not investigate cash payments involving other high-profile individuals who received financial contributions from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) as it was beyond the scope of his investigation, the High Court heard today.

Testifying in Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s foreign visa system (VLN) contract corruption trial, MACC senior enforcer V. Mahendran told the court he did not investigate cash payments made to other individuals named in a ledger UKSB owned since they were unrelated to the case he was assigned to as per the complaint lodged with the enforcement agency.

Previously, the court was told the ledger was used by UKSB administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun for bookkeeping purposes on cash payments made by UKSB to various politicians, government staff and Ahmad Zahid himself.

“I checked the ledgers, there were VIP names, business partners, a few ministers and politicians, but checks later found that the money given to these individuals were not relevant to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid and the case I was investigating (at the time) involved the VLN and One Stop Centre (OSC).

“My focus is related to UKSB and those involving the VLN contract that fell under the purview of the Home Ministry.

“Therefore, other individuals (named) are not related to my case, but MACC has commenced investigations by assigning several investigating officers to further scrutinise the matter (on the other named individuals),” the 18th prosecution witness said under examination-in-chief.

Among those named in the ledger as recipients of cash payment included former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, current Cabinet ministers Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican; former Cabinet ministers Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Tan Sri Ong Ka Chuan and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy; and Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan.

Earlier today, Mahendran testified that a graft probe against UKSB and alleged bribes paid to government officials in relation to the awarding of the VLN contract commenced following a complaint lodged by personnel from the enforcement agency itself.

Mahendran said he was instructed by his superior — a deputy director of the agency’s Special Operations Division (BOK) — to take on the case as an investigating officer on September 27, 2018.

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Mahendran again maintained his testimony that others named in the ledger including alleged intermediaries to several high-profile individuals in relation to cash payments UKSB made were not probed as they were not the focus of his investigation.

Ahmad Zaidi: The cash payments to Ahmad Zahid were allegedly made by three named individuals (from UKSB) namely Harry Lee Vui Khiun, Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani and David Tan Siong Sun, have you in the course of your investigation also probed the proxies of said ministers?

Mahendran: Never.

Ahmad Zahid is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and the then home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the OSCs in China and the VLN system as well as to maintain the agreement to supply VLN integrated system paraphernalia to the same company by the Home Ministry.

Ahmad Zahid was charged with another seven counts as home minister who obtained S$1.15 million, RM3 million, CHF15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company for himself in connection with his official work.

He is accused of committing all the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.

The trial before High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa continues tomorrow.