Zahid’s aide was careless in handling Akalbudi cheques, court told

Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi faces 47 CBT, corruption and money laundering charges involving RM117 million belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard today that an aide to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had been negligent in handling several cheques to settle credit card payments using the Yayasan Akalbudi account.

The admission was made by Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly when cross-examined by the former deputy prime minister’s lawyer, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal.

Zaidi said Zahid had told him that Mazlina made a lot of mistakes in issuing cheques under his name when she was his executive secretary.

Mazlina, the 90th prosecution witness, admitted to the oversight.

In one case, she said, a cheque was rejected by Affin Bank as it did not bear Zahid’s signature.

The witness also agreed with Zaidi there was an occasion where the amount written in words and in figures on the cheque did not tally.

Mazlina also admitted that she wrote the month wrongly on another cheque.

“The credit card statement was dated Jan 28, 2014. The cheque should have been dated Feb 7, 2014 but I accidentally wrote it as Jan 7, 2014,” she said.

On another occasion, she admitted to issuing two cheques to settle the credit card bill although Zahid received only one monthly statement.

She also said that she once issued a cheque for RM20,000 when the credit card payment for the month was only RM8,001.

On Tuesday, Mazlina said Zahid gave her permission to use a stamp carrying a replica of his signature on Yayasan Akalbudi cheques to settle the credit card bills.

She said the stamp would be used when Zahid was out of his office, attending meetings or overseas.

However, the witness also said she had never used the stamp for personal interests.

Mazlina said she knew that Zahid joined a commercial bank after he graduated from Universiti Malaya and he was once the Bank Simpanan Nasional chairman.

“I admit Zahid has vast experience in banking work,” she said.

However, she disagreed with Zaidi that Zahid had disallowed her to use the stamp except for one time.

Mazlina also said that the stamp, Akalbudi’s and Zahid’s personal cheque books were kept in a drawer and that she had total control and custody of the key.

She said Zahid was a busy man when he was the deputy prime minister, home minister and Umno deputy president.

Zaidi: You could only get to see him for a limited time or in between meetings.

Mazlina: Yes.

Zaidi: He has no time to scrutinise all the cheques as he was busy.

Mazlina: Yes.

Zahid, 67, is facing 47 charges, with 12 of them involving criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering involving RM117 million belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

The hearing before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.