MACC officer: Charity Yayasan Akalbudi’s money used to pay Zahid’s, wife’s RM1.3m credit card bills; RM107,000 vehicle insurance, road tax

Ida Lim
·5-min read
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur March 10, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur March 10, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — Money from charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi where former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was the trustee was used to pay his and his wife’s credit card bills totalling over RM1.3 million during 2014 to 2016, a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer said today.

The charity’s funds were also used to pay more than RM107,000 worth of road tax and insurance policies for vehicles belonging mostly to Zahid and his wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis, the officer said.

MACC investigator Khairudin Kilau said this while testifying as the 99th and final prosecution witness in Zahid’s ongoing trial involving 47 charges, including alleged criminal breach of trust of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, bribery and money-laundering.

A charity to help the poor

Today, Khairudin said he was appointed on June 5, 2018 as an investigating officer for this case, following a complaint lodged that same day under Section 23 of the MACC Act regarding information that Zahid as Yayasan Akalbudi’s trustee and director was “suspected of abusing his position by approving funds donated to the foundation for personal purposes, which is to pay his and his wife’s credit cards”.

While investigating the case, Khairudin had obtained documents from the Companies Commission of Malaysia with which Yayasan Akalbudi had been registered as a company since 1997.

Khairudin said Yayasan Akalbudi’s Memorandum of Association or company constitution stated its objective was for the receiving and administering of funds to eradicate poverty and the improvement of the poor’s welfare and research on poverty eradication programmes, while bank records showed that Zahid had became the sole signatory of Yayasan Akalbudi’s Affin Bank account from June 2013 onwards.

Khairudin said his investigations showed that there were no records from 1997 to 2018 of any annual general meetings or any recorded meetings of the company’s activities and affairs, stating that all finances and activities of Yayasan Akalbudi were managed by Zahid himself.

“The other trustees do not know of any clear activities carried out by Yayasan Akalbudi. Even who are the contributors of funds and how much donations are received were also never informed and presented to the other Yayasan Akalbudi trustees,” Khairudin told the High Court, adding that the other trustees only knew that the foundation carried out welfare activities especially for residents of Bagan Datuk relating to donations to mosques and tahfiz centres.

The credit card payments

Khairudin said his investigations showed that Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds were issued via 43 cheques from its Affin Bank account to pay for credit card bills under Zahid and his wife’s names between 2014 and 2016, including overseas expenditure.

“Based on documents and witness statements, the total Yayasan Akalbudi funds used by Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to pay for his credit card for personal use is RM1,362,037.81,” he told the court, also listing evidence he had obtained from banks on these payments including the original cheques and the credit card statements.

This amount included 35 cheques from Yayasan Akalbudi’s Affin Bank account for payment totalling RM1,296,715.98 or over RM1.2 million for Zahid’s two AmBank credit cards — AmBank Islamic Visa Infinite and AmBank Islamic World Mastercard — and his wife’s four supplementary credit cards from January 2014 to January 2016.

Also included in the RM1.36 million amount were seven cheques from Yayasan Akalbudi for payment totalling RM34,686.03 for Zahid’s two Maybank credit cards — Visa Platinum and Mastercard Gold — from February 2014 to March 2015; and one cheque in July 2015 from the foundation for the amount of RM30,635.80 for Zahid’s American Express Platinum credit card.

Zahid’s lawyers had previously disputed and argued that he had not actually approved the use of a stamp of his signature on the Yayasan Akalbudi cheques that were used to pay the credit card bills, but his former executive secretary Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly had while testifying as the 90th prosecution witness disagreed with such arguments.

The vehicle insurance and road tax

Khairudin also told the court today that his investigations had shown that Yayasan Akalbudi funds were used to pay for insurance policies and road tax for 20 vehicles under his name, his wife’s name and two others, via three cheques totalling RM107,509.55 from the foundation’s Affin Bank account.

The first cheque in January 2015 was for RM24,980.55 was for six vehicles owned by Zahid and his wife, namely RM17,335.54 for insurance policies and RM7,625.01 for road tax.

The second cheque in April 2015 was for RM43,645 (RM27,246.90 for insurance policies and RM16,368.10 for road tax for four Zahid-owned vehicles, one BZ Motors Sdn Bhd-owned vehicle and one Juhari Janan-owned vehicle), while the third cheque in September 2015 was for RM38,884 (RM27,607.11 for insurance policies and RM11,276.89 for road tax for eight Zahid-owned vehicles).

The 20 vehicles include Toyota Vellfire vehicles, a BMW X5 car, a BMW 320i car, a Lexus LX 570 car, an Audi Q7 4.2(A) car, a Mini Cooper S car, a Honda Odyssey car, a Chrysler Wrangler car, and motorcycles under brands such as Harley Davidson, BMW, Ducati and Kawasaki.

Khairudin will continue testifying next Thursday, where he is expected to continue reading out his written witness statement before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Earlier today, MACC investigator Christ Sheldon Anak Merun who is also the 98th prosecution witness had testified of the statement recorded from a Singapore-based businessman of how Zahid was said to have asked for a donation of RM10 million to be paid to Yayasan Akalbudi as charity to help the poor and needy.

Khairudin will be the last prosecution witness to testify before the prosecution wraps up its case in this trial. Today is the 51st day of trial.

In this trial, Zahid ― who is a former home minister and currently the Umno president ― is facing 47 charges, namely 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges.

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