KUALA LUMPUR: A deputy managing director of Datasonic Group Berhad (DGB) told the High Court that he would not have recommended for the company to contribute RM6mil in political funds to Barisan Nasional if Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was not the deputy prime minister and home minister then.
Chew Ben Ben said he suggested the amount to former DGB chief executive officer Datuk Abu Hanifah Noordin as a long-term contribution to Barisan through Ahmad Zahid.The 34th prosecution witness said he met the then deputy prime minister at Seri Satria Putrajaya
in April 2017, where Ahmad Zahid told him about his profession before entering politics.
“Ahmad Zahid also told me that he was impressed with DGB because of its performance, and also that the general election was approaching then, ” he said when reading out his witness statement during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Gan Peng Kun.
Chew, 63, was testifying on the 17th day of Ahmad Zahid’s corruption trial, involving millions of ringgit in Yayasan Akalbudi funds and passport chip supply contracts with several companies.
The witness, who is also a member of the DGB board of directors, said when he met Ahmad Zahid, the then deputy prime minister also told him he would be meeting (then prime minister) Datuk Seri Najib Razak to discuss the coming polls.
“What came to mind was that Barisan needed money for the election. I then asked Ahmad Zahid whether we could provide political funds and asked how much was needed.“Ahmad Zahid said it was up to me how much I wanted to give Barisan, ” he said, adding that Ahmad Zahid told him to prepare a cheque for Lewis & Co, the trustee of Yayasan Akalbudi, which is owned by Ahmad Zahid.
“I suggested that Hanifah use his own money because withdrawal from DGB’s account required approval from the directors, ” he said.
Chew said DGB had six subsidiaries, namely Datasonic Technologies Sdn Bhd, Datasonic Corporation Sdn Bhd, Datasonic Smart Solutions Sdn Bhd, Datasonic Innovation Sdn Bhd, Datasonic Manufacturing Sdn Bhd and Datasonic Digital Sdn Bhd.
Questioned by lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Chew agreed that the political fund was for corporate social responsibility and charity.“I know, ” he said when Ahmad Zaidi put it to him that the RM6mil paid to Lewis & Co for Yayasan Akalbudi was for welfare work.
Ahmad Zahid, 67, is facing 47 charges, with 12 of them for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering, involving tens of millions of ringgit of funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi. — Bernama
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