KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was told onDec 11 that former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi lent RM10 mil of Yayasan Akalbudi funds to a local coal company after the CEO was introduced to him by the husband of Malaysia’s pop songstress in 2015.

Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Wasi Khan @ Wasiyu Zama Israr, 50, said his company needed the RM10 mil 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 are 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 can lend me RM10 mil to be used as our paid-up capital.

“I initially asked for Khalid’s help to set a meeting for me with Ahmad Zahid with the hope to reduce the required capital from RM10 mil to only RM5 mil. Khalid agreed and asked me to come and meet with Ahmad Zahid,” the 21st prosecution witness said during the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Nur Aishah Maulat Ahmad Zakiuddin.

Wasi said this in his witness statement on the 11th day of the trial of Ahmad Zahid who is facing 47 charges involving millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.

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

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

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

“But Ahmad Zahid said he could not interfere in TNB matters and policies but did propose a kind of quick financial solution,” Wasi said.

The witness said a month after the meeting, he was verbally invited by Ahmad 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 for RM10 mil and a month to repay the loan.

“I looked into the details and found that the RM10 mil 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, Ahmad 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 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, Ahmad Zahid’s former special officer, Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, said he saw his boss signing a Yayasan Akalbudi cheque of RM100,000 for TS Consultancy & Resources.

He said Ahmad 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 Ahmad Zahid’s special aide, Major Mazlina Mazlan.

“I saw Ahmad Zahid sign the cheque. He then gave it to me and I gave it to my officer Sabri Said,” the 18th prosecution witness said when asked by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Afif Ali.

Ahmad 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 on Dec 12. – Bernama

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