RM10 mil from Zahid’s foundation ‘too good to be true’, witness tells court

Wasi Khan @ Wasiyu Zama Israr Ahmad.

KUALA LUMPUR: A witness told the Ahmad Zahid Hamidi corruption and criminal breach of trust trial that a RM10 million “investment” which his company received from the former prime minister was “too good to be true”.

Wasi Khan @ Wasiyu Zama Israr Ahmad said the RM10 million cheque was issued to him through Zahid’s Yayasan Akalbudi one month after he met Zahid for the first time at the home ministry office.

He had previously told the court that he met Zahid to seek advice from the then home minister as to whether the minimum paid up capital in order for his company to qualify for a Tenaga Nasional (TNB) subsidiary company’s project could be reduced from RM10 million to RM5 million.

The meeting at the home ministry was arranged by Wasi’s friend, Khalid Mohammad Jiwa, who happened to know Zahid.

Zahid, according to Wasi, had told him that he could not interfere in TNB matters.

“There is a big possibility it (RM10 million) was an investment. It was too good to be true,” he said, in response to deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran’s question as to whether he was aware that the RM10 million was actually an investment from Yayasan Akalbudi in his company.

Zahid’s lawyer, Rosal Azimin Ahmad, also questioned Wasi on the purported RM10 million investment and asked the witness if he had ever signed an agreement with Zahid for this purpose.

“There was no ‘black and white’ (agreement),” he said.

Co-counsel Ahmad Zaidi Zainal then showed Wasi a copy of Yayasan Akalbudi’s constitution and pointed out that one of the provisions allowed the foundation to invest money if its trustees thought it was proper to do so.

The witness agreed with the defence counsel’s suggestion after reading the constitution.

Meanwhile, another witness, Daman Huri Nor, who is the secretary in the Parliament and Constitution Affairs Section under the Prime Minister’s Department, testified that Zahid had received a sum of RM44,383.15 as monthly salary during his three years as deputy prime minister.

Of that amount, RM18,615.15 was basic salary while RM26,215 was in the form of allowances, Daman Huri added.

Zahid replaced Muhyiddin Yassin as deputy prime minister after Muhyiddin was removed from the Cabinet in 2015.

Prior to that, as home minister, Zahid received a total of RM39,227.20 as monthly salary.

The hearing will continue before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah from Feb 11 to Feb 14, 2020.

Further trial dates were fixed for Feb 17 to 20, 2020; March 2, 3 and 6, 2020; as well as from March 23 to 25, 2020.

Zahid faces 47 charges for CBT involving Yayasan Akalbudi funds, money laundering as well as accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as home minister.