I Was Appointed Home Minister For My Integrity Says Zahid
Former home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is standing trial on 12 CBT, eight corruption and 27 money laundering charges amounting to millions of ringgit.KUALA LUMPUR: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing corruption charges, told the High Court here today he was appointed to helm the home ministry for five years from 2013 as he was a man of integrity.
He said the ministry was an important component in the government administration as it dealt with the nation’s security.
“Not only did I have experience in administration but I had the integrity to run the ministry,” he said when cross-examined by deputy public prosecutor Afif Ali.
Afif: Must a person appointed to the ministry have experience in administration?
Zahid: No, he must also have integrity.
Zahid said the home ministry was important, after the finance, defence and education ministries.
Afif: Is the home ministry important?
Zahid: The four ministries are very important.
Zahid was also appointed the deputy prime minister in July 2015 after Muhyiddin Yassin was sacked from the government.
Afif raised the topic of Zahid’s role in the ministry when questioning him about allegedly having received RM13.25 million from businessman Junaith Asharab Md Shariff.
The defence has taken the position that the money was paid between 2016 and 2017 to Zahid’s Yayasan Akalbudi to build mosques and tahfiz schools in his parliamentary constituency of Bagan Datuk.
However, the prosecution contends the money was paid in advance as Zahid promised Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services to secure MyEG projects worth RM50 million.
The court was told that Junaith, who is said to have an interest in the company, had sought the assistance of another businessman, M Kumaraguru, to register Mastoro Kenny to undertake the MyEG projects.
However, the plan did not materialise after Barisan Nasional lost in the 14th general election on May 9, 2018 and Pakatan Harapan took over Putrajaya.
Further cross-examined by Afif, Zahid agreed that until today, the defence did not produce tax exemption receipts to Junaith after receiving the RM13.25 million contribution.
Zahid, 69, is standing trial on 12 criminal breach of trust, eight corruption and 27 money laundering charges amounting to millions of ringgit.
Three of the eight graft charges are related to Mastoro, where he is said to have accepted RM8 million, RM5 million and RM250,000 in 24 cheques from Junaith.
The Umno president is also said to have received RM2 million from Datasonic Group Bhd company director Azlan Shah Jaffril.
He is said to have received another RM6 million from Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd directors Chew Ben Ben and Abu Hanifah Noordin.
The money was deposited into the clients account of Lewis & Co, which was the trustee for Yayasan Akalbudi.
The hearing before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. - FMT
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