KUALA LUMPUR: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi usually paid more than the contract amount for work to build and renovate mosques, suraus and religious schools in his Bagan Datuk parliamentary constituency.
Former project site supervisor Marlin Ahmad told the High Court that Zahid, who has been the constituency’s MP since 1995, would also promptly settle all sums owed to his late brother, a contractor, once any task was completed.
“To my knowledge, it was Zahid who would instruct my brother to undertake the projects. He would also pay more than the contract price,” the 13th defence witness said.
Marlin’s brother, Sanusi, died of cancer in 2015.
Marlin, 50, who worked for Sanusi, said he knew what transpired between Zahid and Sanusi as he was working as a site supervisor for his brother at the time.
“I had seven to eight workers under me. My tasks also included looking into purchasing construction materials for all the projects undertaken,” he said.
According to his witness statement, Sanusi’s firm, Sutida Enterprise, carried out work on 33 projects from 1999.
Marlin said 26 of those projects were worth about RM4.3 million. However, he was unable to recall the value of another seven assignments.
He said his brother would begin work without collecting any advance payment from Zahid as the MP would always honour his payment obligations.
In reply to a question by counsel Aiman Abdul Rahman, Marlin said no information boards were placed at the project sites as Zahid did not want the people to know that the funding came from him.
Cross-examined by deputy public prosecutor Dusuki Mokhtar, Marlin said he only knew of Zahid’s generosity from Sanusi.
“I agree that I have no personal knowledge of Zahid’s character,” he said.
He also conceded that he did not have any documents to prove the payments made by Zahid to his brother.
Another witness, Mokhtar Tukol, the chairman of Surau An Nur, said he has known Zahid for 35 years.
He said that Zahid would contribute through his representatives to the poor and needy during Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidiladha without fail.
Mokhtar said Zahid was steadfast that when carrying out charitable works, “the left hand should not know what your right hand is doing”.
Zahid is accused of 47 counts of money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving millions of ringgit from Yayasan Akalbudi and accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as home minister between 2013 and 2018.
Twelve of the charges are for CBT, eight for corruption and the remaining 27 for money laundering.
The defence only brought three witnesses today, all of whom gave short testimonies, resulting in the day’s proceedings concluding just before lunch.
Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah said the defence should have at least five witnesses on standby to avoid wasting judicial time.
Lawyer Hamidi Noh apologised to Sequerah for the oversight.
The hearing will continue on Sept 4.