Zahid: Giving a cash advance of RM1.3m to the police football club is in line with the charity’s aims to help the needy; it’s not CBT

Former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at the High Court Complex in Kuala Lumpur on May 24, 2022. — Photo by Hari Anggara

By IDA LIM

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 07:09 MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 – Former Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today that he did not commit a criminal breach of trust (CBT) when he gave 1.3 million of RM of funds from Yayasan Akalbudi as a cash advance to the Police Football Association.

Ahmad Zahid argued that this was because his advance of these funds to the police football association was in line with the aims of the Yayasan Akalbudi charity fund to help the needy.

Testifying in his own defense during his trial for allegedly committing a criminal breach of trust over the RM31 million of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds entrusted to him, Ahmad Zahid sought to justify the channeling of money from the social organization towards Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) football. fellowship in 2015.

Ahmad Zahid explained that he had never made contributions to the PDRM football association before, but noted that the police were his responsibility when he was interior minister and he knew then that the he football association itself paid the monthly salaries and allowances of its players and staff.

Ahmad Zahid said his son-in-law Datuk Zul Hisham Zainal told him that this football association was in financial difficulty as four months of unpaid wages had prevented football players and staff from paying their personal expenses such as house rental , car and other needs.

Ahmad Zahid said he was also told that association players who are entirely dependent on the earnings received as full-time footballers, and he also believed that the welfare of the families of those players would be affected. because their wages had not been paid for four months. .

Ahmad Zahid said that the total salary of players and staff in the football association averaged around RM500,000-600,000 per month, and the unpaid salary for four months was around 1.3 million RM.

(Previously, Zul Hisham told the court that it takes about RM500,000-600,000 every month to pay the 30 football players and 15 executives of the PDRM Football Association).

“Therefore, I had advanced RM1.3m to the PDRM Football Association to help them cover these needs and their welfare,” Ahmad Zahid told the High Court today.

Ahmad Zahid verified a Yayasan Akalbudi check dated November 19, 2015 for RM1.3 million issued to the PDRM football association.

“I believe that this cash advance is in line with the objectives of Yayasan Akalbudi training, where this Yayasan has been created generally to help in terms of welfare to those in need,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said that two other administrators of Yayasan Akalbudi – Muhammad Nabil Salleh and Datuk Khairuddin Tarmizi – were also aware of this matter, saying: “I emphasize that both of them never objected to this advance because it is in accordance with Yayasan’s goal. Ahmad Zahid cited the previous testimony of his son-in-law Zul Hisham in this trial as the 19th prosecution witness, who allegedly testified that the National Sports Council reimbursed the cash advance when he handed over a check for one million RM to Lewis Law Firm. & Co on July 14, 2017.

Zul Hisham had previously agreed that the remaining RM300,000 of funds donated to the PDRM football association was a form of contribution to the needy.

In this trial, Ahmad Zahid ― who is also a former deputy prime minister and currently chairman of Umno ― faces 47 charges, namely 12 counts of breach of trust in relation to funds of the Yayasan Akalbudi charitable foundation, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of corruption.

For the 12 counts of the CBT, Ahmad Zahid is accused of having embezzled more than RM31 million from the funds of Yayasan Akalbudi, of which he was entrusted as a trustee of the foundation and of which he was also more later the only signatory for his checks.

The 12 CBT charges relate to the use of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, namely RM1.3 million via 43 checks for Ahmad Zahid and his wife’s credit card bills, RM107,509.55 via three checks for vehicle insurance and road tax for 20 private vehicles, a check for RM1.3 million to the police football association, a check for RM10 million for a loan to Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd, RM360,000 via two checks to political consultancy firm TS Consultancy & Resources, and more than RM17.9 million in funds transferred from Yayasan Akalbudi to law firm Lewis & Co.

Ahmad Zahid’s trial before High Court Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow.

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