Ahmad Zahid: I trusted Major Mazlina to handle YAB, personal accounts

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) told the High Court here on Tuesday (July 5) that he thought well of Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly and trusted her to manage his personal accounts as well as the account of Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB), which he owns.

Ahmad Zahid, 69, said his former executive secretary was also entrusted with managing the payment of his water and electricity bills and at all times, he would seek Mazlina's help to manage various personal financial matters, including the payment of his credit cards.

"Usually, I will ask Mazlina for the debit or credit amount for my credit cards before payment is made.

"I don’t have the time to contact the bank myself to ask about my credit card statements because I was too busy with my duties of helping manage the country. So I trusted Mazlina to manage all that," he said.

Ahmad Zahid said this in his defence proceedings on 47 charges involving breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

To a question from deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran if he paid serious attention to his credit card payments, Ahmad Zahid replied "Yes, true".

Raja Rozela: And if this is true, did Datuk Seri ask Mazlina to show the credit card statements before payment was made?

Ahmad Zahid: Each time I asked, she (Mazlina) would say she had the statements, but they were never shown to me.

Raja Rozela: Didn’t Datuk Seri want to know how much Datuk Seri owed the bank?

Ahmad Zahid: All payments and purchases have receipts so I know the amount. My instruction is that payments had to come from my personal account.

In the previous proceeding, Ahmad Zahid denied that he had pointed fingers at Mazlina over the settlement of his personal credit card bills using YAB cheques in order to absolve himself.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid confirmed that he used six credit cards to make payments for his personal expenses during official visits abroad between 2013 and 2016, including the United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, the United States and Italy as well as for several purchases in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

Asked by Raja Rozela if he was abroad every month between 2013 and 2016, Ahmad Zahid replied "Yes" and explained that at that time he held the positions of Home Minister (2013-2018) and Deputy Prime Minister (2015-2018).

"Almost every month I would be abroad for official business," he said.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Wednesday (July 6). - Bernama

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