KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 21): The High Court here heard that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had given a RM10 million cheque to a friend's company for the purpose of obtaining a contract linked to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
Testifying in Zahid’s criminal trial, where he is facing 47 charges, defence witness Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa, who is known as "Datuk K", said that in 2015, the deputy prime minister had given a RM10 million cheque from Yayasan Akalbudi, a charitable arm helmed by him, to Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd, owned by Datuk Wasi Khan @ Wasiyu Zama Israr, for the company's investment purposes.
Khalid, who testified that Wasi was his business partner, said he introduced Wasi to Zahid in 2015.
Wasi had intended to meet Zahid to seek the Umno man's help in securing a bid for a contract to supply coal from Indonesia for a subsidiary of TNB called TNB Fuel Services Sdn Bhd.
Khalid, who was reading from his prepared witness statement on Monday (Aug 21), said that Wasi was seeking Zahid's intervention as the then deputy prime minister to request TNB to loosen its condition that any company vying for the tender must have a required capital of RM10 million.
Wasi had asked for Zahid’s help in reducing the required capital from RM10 million to RM5 million.
“In a meeting, Wasi told Zahid about his intention [to bid for the contract], and was seeking Zahid’s intervention to speak to TNB to lower the minimum capital limit to RM5 million,” Khalid testified.
According to the seventh defence witness, Zahid told Wasi that he could not interfere with the national utility company, as it was not within his purview and jurisdiction as the then deputy prime minister, and it would constitute an offence if he were to interfere in TNB’s policy matters.
“At the end of the meeting, Zahid agreed to give Wasi RM10 million as his start-up capital,” the witness said, adding that Zahid had given Wasi the amount via a cheque from Yayasan Akalbudi.
Khalid, who is the husband of national singing icon Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza, maintained that the RM10 million was an investment by Yayasan Akalbudi, and that the charitable organisation had accrued a return on the sum given.
According to the witness, Wasi’s company had repaid the RM10 million and given Yayasan Akalbudi returns of RM69,722.65, even though it was unsuccessful in securing the contract.
The witness added that Zahid is a generous person, a philanthropist, and will always help when someone is in need.
Previously, Wasi, who was the 21st prosecution witness, testified that he had initially gone to Khalid seeking a loan of RM10 million, but Khalid introduced him to Zahid instead.
Zahid is facing 47 charges — 12 for criminal breach of trust, eight for corruption and 27 for money laundering — involving tens of millions of ringgit from Yayasan Akalbudi, and is on trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
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