Foundation funds belonged to me, Zahid tells court

KUALA LUMPUR: The tens of millions of ringgit in the Yayasan Akalbudi foundation allegedly misused by its founder Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi belonged to him, he told the High Court.

Making his defence against 47 charges involving breach of trust, corruption and money laundering at his trial, the former deputy prime minister told the court that not a single sen of the funds came from the government or the people.

The 69-year-old said the foundation’s funds came from his income when he was in the corporate sector before becoming an administrative member in the government.

“Before I became a member of the administration, namely as deputy minister, minister or deputy prime minister, I was in the corporate business sector. I used to head four companies listed on Bursa Kuala Lumpur and used to be the chairman of Bank Simpanan Nasional.

“There were some contributions from friends and businessmen who had nothing to do with the portfolio I was holding, but not a single sen was from government contributions or the people’s money or from the taxpayers,” he added.

He said this when questioned by his lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal on the third day of his defence proceedings, Bernama reported.

Day in court: Ahmad Zahid (centre) arriving at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for the corruption trial. — FAIHAN GHANI/The StarDay in court: Ahmad Zahid (centre) arriving at the Kuala Lumpur High Court for the corruption trial. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

The Bagan Datuk MP also told the court that his income and allowances as a chief executive officer, executive chairman and chairman of a corporate company exceeded his family’s expenses and needs.

“So I was determined, on the advice of my father, who was a mudir or principal of a religious school in Bagan Datuk, to channel the surplus income to people in need through donations, alms, infak, tithe for welfare and religious purposes in Yayasan Akalbudi.

“The funds in the Akalbudi Foundation fund is from my personal income as well as the allowance I received during my corporate business activities,” he added.

Apart from that, Ahmad Zahid said he also received dividend payments from the companies concerned which he deposited into the foundation and also conducted stock market transactions for income.

Of the 47 charges involved, 12 of them are for breach of trust, eight charges of corruption and 27 charges of money laundering, involving tens of millions of ringgit in funds belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

On Jan 24, the court ordered Ahmad Zahid to defend himself against all the charges after the prosecution succeeded in proving a prima facie case.

The trial continues before Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

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