KUALA LUMPUR: Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) had allowed his signature stamp to be used on cheques of a charitable foundation to pay for his credit card bills, the High Court heard.
Ahmad Zahid’s former executive secretary Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly said she started using the signature stamp on cheques of Yayasan Akalbudi in 2014 upon receiving permission from the former deputy prime minister who owns the foundation.
“It is due to Datuk Seri’s (Ahmad Zahid) busy schedule... I often received the credit card statements after the due date and was afraid the late payment would result in the cards being barred causing inconvenience to them, especially when they were abroad.
“Therefore, I asked for Datuk Seri’s permission to use the stamp. He agreed and said okay... I did not use his personal cheques as there was no directive from him for me to do so, ” she said.
The 90th prosecution witness said this when reading out her witness’ statement during Ahmad Zahid’s trial. Ahmad Zahid is facing charges of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving millions of ringgit in funds from Yayasan Akalbudi.
“The last time I used the Yayasan Akalbudi cheques to pay the credit card bills was in 2016.
“As far as I can remember, Datuk Seri had instructed me not to use the cheques to pay for his credit card bills because the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had begun an investigation into the matter. I did not ask further. I was asked to pay the credit card in cash, ” said Mazlina.
Previously, a chemist from the Chemistry Department had told the court that 16 cheques belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi that were issued to make several payments, including for the personal use of Ahmad Zahid, had the signature of the accused.
Mazlina, 42, also said that the Umno president had also allowed her to use Yayasan Akalbudi cheques for other purposes such as paying for his vehicles’ insurance and road tax.
“Each time I wanted to get his signature on the cheques, I would bring along the credit card statements for Datuk Seri’s reference, ” she said, adding that being meticulous, Ahmad Zahid would check and ensure that everything was in order before signing.
Mazlina said Ahmad Zahid would affix his signature using his own pen, which was usually in black ink.
“All the cheques that I prepared to pay for the credit card bills were not pre-signed by Datuk Seri, ” she said.
She said Ahmad Zahid had also directed her to prepare cheques for TS Consultancy & Resources, PDRM Football Association and Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd.
Ahmad Zahid, 67, is facing 47 charges, with 12 of them involving criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran leads the prosecution team while Ahmad Zahid is represented by lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.
The hearing before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. — Bernama
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