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Zahid: I never used RM6m political donation for personal benefit

Zahid: I never used RM6m political donation for personal benefit

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the High Court today that he had never used the RM6 million allegedly received as a political donation from the deputy managing director of Datasonic Group Berhad (DGB) Chew Ben Ben for personal benefit.

In fact, Ahmad Zahid, 69, said he had never deposited the money received through two cheques into his personal accounts as he had instead handed over the money to the legal firm, Messrs Lewis & Co, the trustee of his Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB).

The Bagan Datuk Member of Parliament repeatedly stressed that he chose not to deposit the money into his accounts or use it for personal benefit.

“Even at that time I was holding the post of deputy president (of Umno) and that money can be used for political purposes, I chose neither to use it for politics nor personal purposes, but instead to channel it for charity, waqf and religious activities.”

He said this during cross-examination by deputy public prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob in his defence trial over 47 charges, 12 of which were of criminal breach of trust, eight of corruption, and 27 of money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to YAB.

To Abdul Malik’s question of why the RM6 million he claimed was a political donation was not deposited into the accounts of Umno or Barisan Nasional, Ahmad Zahid said, “not necessarily (so).”

“If a politician receives a political donation, the money doesn’t necessarily be deposited into his party’s account as nowhere on the cheque was the words ‘donation for political party’ written.

“But if the money was given to a politician, he has the discretion to deposit it into his own account or any other account he deems fit,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid also disagreed with Abdul Malik’s suggestion that the RM6 million he received from Chew was a bribe.

Based on the 14th and 15th charges, Ahmad Zahid is alleged to have received bribes amounting to RM6 million from Chew as a reward for appointing DTSB to implement a passport chip project for a period of five years or for a total of 12.5 million chips to be included in the polycarbonate biodata page of Malaysia’s international passport by the Immigration Department through direct negotiations under the Home Ministry.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. – Bernama