PDRM football body received RM1.3 mil from Yayasan Akalbudi, court told

Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi faces 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and bribery.

KUALA LUMPUR: A witness told the High Court here today that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Football Association received a cheque for RM1.3 million from Yayasan Akalbudi for the management of the association in November 2015.

The association’s assistant secretary, ASP Mohd Nizam Mohd Noor, 39, said the cheque dated Nov 19, 2015 was received from Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s son-in-law, Zul Hisham Zainal, who was the intermediary between the association and the former deputy prime minister.

According to the 20th prosecution witness, the cheque was later handed to the association’s assistant treasurer, Sergeant Khairul Azuan Ramli, to be banked into the association’s account.

When referred to a CIMB Bank account statement of the association dated Nov 30 2015 by deputy public prosecutor Nur Aishah Maulat Ahmad Zakiuddin, Nizam confirmed finding the sum of money amounting to RM1.3 million banked into the association’s account via a transaction dated Nov 23, 2015.

The police officer, who had been holding the position since 2008, said this when reading his witness statement on the 11th day of trial against Zahid, who is facing 47 charges involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds amounting to millions of ringgit.

When cross-examined by counsel Rosal Azimin Ahmad, who is representing Zahid, Nizam said before receiving the cheque, he had informed Zul Hisham that the association needed RM1.3 million to pay about three to four months’ salary arrears of players.

Rosal: I am suggesting that the RM1.3 million was a form of assistance from Zahid through the foundation to PDRM, which was badly in need of the assistance.

Nizam: Agree.

Rosal: Zahid need not have helped the association but he himself wanted to give the aid (money).

Nizam: Yes, correct.

When Rosal proposed that on July 14 2016, the National Sports Council (MSN) had paid RM1 million back to the foundation and the remaining RM300,000 was a form of assistance from the foundation to PDRM, the witness replied he was not sure.

Earlier when reading his witness statement, Hisham said as Zahid’s son-in-law since 2004, he did not know that his father-in-law owned Yayasan Akalbudi or any other foundations.

When cross-examined by Rosal on the RM1.3 million fund, the 19th prosecution witness, who initially was not directly involved with the PDRM football association around 2014, said Nizam told him that the RM1.3 million was for payment of players’ salaries and the association’s administrative expenses.

The businessman, who was appointed officially as PDRM football team manager for the 2017 season, said the average total monthly renumeration for 30 PDRM players and management was about RM500,000 to RM600,000 a month. The allocations received from PDRM and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) were not enough to cover the expenses.

Asked by Aishah whether he saw any financial statement of the association in relation to the allocation of between RM500,000 to RM600,000 a month needed to pay player salaries and management of the PDRM football team, the witness said he did not see the details and was only informed on the matter by Nizam.

RM10 million loan

Earlier, the court was told that Zahid had lent RM10 million of Yayasan Akalbudi funds to a local coal company after the CEO was introduced to him by the husband of a pop songstress in 2015.

Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd CEO Wasi Khan @ Wasiyu Zama Israr, 50, said his company needed the RM10 million paid-up capital to meet the minimum requirements for registration to get TNB Fuel Services Sdn Bhd’s spot contract.

“However, my company did not have that amount in our accounts.

“Since we were hoping to get a project and we have to register with TNB Fuel, I contacted my friends, including (the songstress’s husband) Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa to ask if they could lend me RM10 million to be used as our paid-up capital.

“I initially asked for Khalid’s help to set a meeting for me with Zahid with the hope to reduce the required capital from RM10 million to only RM5 million.

“Khalid agreed and asked me to come and meet Zahid,” the 21st prosecution witness said during the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Nur Aishah Maulat Ahmad Zakiuddin.

Wasi said he knew that Khalid was a close friend of Zahid.

The witness also said that he and Khalid then went to see Zahid at the latter’s office at the home ministry in Putrajaya.

“The meeting lasted about 20 minutes as it was aimed at getting Zahid to suggest for the reduction of the required paid-up capital for the project.

“But, Zahid said he could not interfere in TNB matters and policies,” Wasi said.

The witness said a month after the meeting, he was verbally invited by Zahid to come to Parliament the following day.

Wasi said during their meeting at Parliament, the former deputy prime minister asked an Affin Bank officer to give him (Wasi) a cheque of RM10 million and a month to repay the loan.

“I looked into the details and found that the RM10 million cheque, dated Nov 16, 2015, was issued to Armada Holdings. The name Yayasan Akalbudi was also on the cheque, meaning that it was issued by Yayasan Akalbudi.

“During our previous meetings, Zahid did not mention anything to me that the loan given to the company would be from Yayasan Akalbudi,” he said.

The witness said a month later, he had made full repayment of the loan with interest of 4%, or RM69,722.65, using two CIMB Bank cheques belonging to his company.

“Unfortunately, Armada Holdings did not succeed in securing any project with TNB Fuel,” he said.

Earlier, Zahid’s former special officer, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, said he saw his boss signing a Yayasan Akalbudi cheque for RM100,000 for TS Consultancy & Resources.

He said Zahid signed the cheque after being informed that TS Consultancy & Resources was facing a financial problem as it had not received an allocation from Umno headquarters as it normally would.

He said the cheque was prepared by Zahid’s special aide, Major Mazlina Mazlan.

“I saw Zahid sign the cheque. He then gave it to me and I gave it to my officer, Sabri Said,” the 18th prosecution witness said.

Zahid, 66, is facing 47 charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 others for money laundering involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds.

The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.