KUALA LUMPUR (March 9): Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations into former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s (pictured) charity organisation Yayasan Akalbudi did not reveal documentation which suggested that the foundation had purchased two bungalows in Kajang in 2017, according to a witness at the politician’s graft trial yesterday.
The two bungalows in Country Heights, Kajang, was purchased by Ahmad Zahid via law firm Lewis & Co. The UMNO president’s lawyers had reiterated throughout the case that Lewis & Co had been acting as trustees for Yayasan Akalbudi.
Testifying as the 94th witness in the trial, MACC investigator Mohd Tharuzi Mohd Nor said that the purchase of the bungalows were a contentious issue, as he could not find any evidence to suggest that the two plots were donated by any corporation or individual.
The bungalows were purchased by Ahmad Zahid for another charitable organisation, Yayasan Al-Falah, where his brother Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi sits as the chairman of the board of trustees.
Tharuzi also testified that there was no cash payment of any kind between Yayasan Al-Falah and Yayasan Akalbudi for the bungalows.
The investigating officer then produced a flowchart to show the court how the bungalows were purchased.
The purchase of the bungalows for RM5.9 million was covered by a total of RM7 million received by the law firm Lewis & Co from Mastaro Kenny IT company which paid RM5 million, and another RM2 million from businessmen Mubarak Hussain Akhtar Husin.
Tharuzi, while questioned by Zahid’s lawyer, had disagreed with a suggestion that the money Ahmad Zahid received from these two entities were not illegal proceeds.
Last year, lawyer Faisalluddin Mohamat Yusuff, who was a prosecution witness and member of Yayasan Al-Falah’s board of trustees said that Ahmad Zahid had indeed paid for the bungalows.
“With regards to the purchase of the two bungalows on Lot 356 and Lot 403 by Yayasan Al Falah, for which my firm prepared the sales and purchase agreement, the money came from Ahmad Zahid,” said lawyer Faisalluddin Mohamat Yusuff.
“The agreement was made between Bee Garden Holdings Sdn Bhd, the owner of the property, and Yayasan Al-Falah; and the payment of RM5.9 million for the purchase was made via a cheque,” added Faisalluddin.
He said that Yayasan Akalbudi was founded in 2014, and run by Ahmad Zahid's siblings to undertake charity activities in honour of their late father Hamidi @ Ahmad Tarmidzi Radin Abdul Fateh and late mother Tuminah Abdul Jalil.
The witness said the two bungalows were purchased as they were located near the surau in Country Heights, and were intended to be used for religious purposes.
Faisalluddin said he had sought an explanation from Nasaee as to why the cheque for RM5.9 million came from the law firm, and Nasaee told him it was a donation from Ahmad Zahid.
When cross-examined by lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Faisalludin agreed that Yayasan Akalbudi's payment for the two bungalows could be considered as wakaf or endowment for religious purposes.
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