Zahid visa trial: Witness confirms UKSB gave cash to Khairy’s Rembau Umno division
SHAH ALAM, June 13 — A former Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) director testified today that former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin was an indirect recipient of financial contributions the firm gave to the Rembau division, during the High Court hearing of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s foreign visa system (VLN) corruption trial.
Former UKSB director Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani, who is also the prosecution’s 16th witness, disclosed this during examination-in-chief.
Wan Quoris Shah — an Umno member himself — testified that amounts between RM50,000 and RM200,000 were given to Khairy through the Rembau Umno division for official political, humanitarian and social purposes managed by the party.
Health Minister Khairy is now the deputy chief of the Rembau division but had previously headed it.
Responding to deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Wan Quoris Shah affirmed in court of his close relationship with Khairy and further explained that the financial contributions were not personal, irregular and circumstantial.
“KJ is a national leader and if there was a disaster, I would assist in terms of national disaster relief programmes and also by-elections as well,” he said, using Khairy’s initials.
When asked to explain the difference in contributions made to Khairy’s division and Ahmad Zahid, Wan Quoris Shah explained the former had no relations with the VLN contracts whereas the latter was involved directly with the Home Ministry.
“For sure Khairy has nothing to do with the VLN so there was no need for a huge allocation, secondly the VLN was related to the Home Ministry where Ahmad Zahid is the minister-in-charge and also Umno’s deputy president at the material time, so his responsibility was much larger,” Wan Quoris Shah said.
To a further question, Wan Quoris Shah also recalled in court that it was “rare” for Ahmad Zahid to decline from providing any form of assistance to UKSB in regards to the VLN contracts.
He also said UKSB would never have given any financial contributions if Ahmad Zahid had not rendered full support in relation to the VLN contracts’ extension.
Previously, the initials “KJ” appeared in a ledger owned by UKSB for numerous cash payments amounting to thousands of ringgits made to several high-profile individuals.
However, a previous prosecution witness and another UKSB director Harry Lee Vui Khiun told the court he was unsure as to whom the initials “KJ” were referring.
Lee had also told the court of him knowing the close relationship between Wan Quoris Shah and Khairy, while confirming the former would request for funds to be provided, presumably for political donations.
In his witness statement, Lee previously testified the monthly cash payments in Singapore dollar made to Ahmad Zahid for the purpose of political contribution were logged in the ledger owned by former UKSB’s administrative manager David Tan.
Lee had also previously testified that he brought Wan Quoris in as UKSB director because he knew the latter was an Umno man and thus needed the connections within Umno to ease communications with Ahmad Zahid who was the home minister between 2014 and 2018.
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.
For another seven counts, Ahmad Zahid was charged as home minister to have obtained for himself S$1,150,000, RM3 million, €15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company in connection with his official work.
Ahmad Zahid, 69, is facing 33 charges of accepting a bribe of S$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 the Home Ministry.
For the other seven charges, Ahmad Zahid is alleged to have obtained for himself S$1.15 million, RM3 million, €15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from UKSB that had links with his official duties.