Zahid: Tycoon sold bungalow because he needed cash

KUALA LUMPUR: Housing developer Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, the founder and chairman of Country Heights Holdings Bhd, needed money urgently and sold two bungalow units at a discounted price of RM5.9mil, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic).

Ahmad Zahid, 69, said Lee offered to sell the bungalows in Country Heights, Kajang, below the market price because he was having trouble paying his income tax.

“This offer (price) was from Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew. He desperately needed the money. That’s why the time given to us was very short and the discount price was given to Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB),” he told the High Court in his corruption trial yesterday.

He had been referred by deputy public prosecutor Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong to the ledger of YAB’s trustee, Messrs Lewis & Co, which recorded that the law firm deposited RM2mil into a fixed deposit account on Nov 30, 2016, and RM5mil on Dec 9 the same year.

According to the Bagan Datuk MP, Lewis & Co did not wait for the fixed savings account to reach maturity – of either six months or a year – before withdrawing RM5.9mil because Lee gave a short period of time to make a decision on the purchase.

Previously, Lee, the 57th prosecution witness, said Ahmad Zahid’s younger brother, Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi, bought the two bungalows with a Lewis & Co cheque.

According to Lee, the cheque was for the payment of the bungalows belonging to his company which were sold to Yayasan Al-Falah, headed by Mohamad Nasaee.

Yesterday, Justice Sequerah acceded to a defence’s request to visit the bungalow.

The judge, who was also invited to visit the Tuminah Hamidi Mosque, said the condition of the mosque could be shown in court through photos or videos because the journey to Bagan Datuk would take time.

Earlier in the day, a frustrated Ahmad Zahid accused the prosecution of trying to “trap him” by repeating questions on the same issue.

The former deputy prime minister said this when Harris Ong Mohd Jeffery Ong kept pushing for details on donations given to YAB.

Justice Sequerah had to chip in and ask the DPP to continue with his questions.

On Jan 24, the court ordered Ahmad Zahid to enter his defence on 47 charges – 12 of them involving criminal breach of trust, eight on corruption and 27 money laundering charges involving tens of millions of ringgit of funds belonging to YAB.

The trial before Justice Sequerah continues on Aug 5.

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Ahmad Zahid , Yayasan Akalbudi , YAB ,


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