Zahid sinks deeper as more dirt revealed

Earlier, the 15th prosecution witness told the court that UKSB delivered cash of between S$200,000 and S$520,000 to Zahid on a monthly basis from 2014 to 2018 in relation to the Foreign Visa System (VLN) contract.

(Bernama) – The High Court here was told today that Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) sponsored former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s overseas trips, his wife’s birthday and Hari Raya celebrations.

Former UKSB director Harry Lee said the sponsorship was on top of the monthly contributions from the company from 2014 to 2018.

“There were also months that we did not make the monthly payment, but we doubled the payment for the next month, to cover the month that we missed.

“I personally did not keep records of the delivery, but I do know that David Tan (administrative manager for UKSB from 2012 to 2018) kept a sort of ledger on the monthly payments, which he would show me from time to time.

“I can confirm that I have seen David’s ledger, but I don’t think I would be able to explain the details in it,” he said when reading his witness statement during the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Abdul Malik Ayob.

Earlier, the 15th prosecution witness told the court that UKSB delivered cash of between S$200,000 and S$520,000 to Zahid on a monthly basis from 2014 to 2018 in relation to the Foreign Visa System (VLN) contract.

The third prosecution witness, former home ministry immigration affairs division deputy secretary Siti Jalilah Abd Manap, had previously told the court that Zahid had extended the UKSB contract for the VLN project even though the existing contract was valid for three more years.

Explaining how the contributions started, Lee said Zahid indicated that he needed them for his political fund and asked the witness to assist him in matters relating to Umno.

“What I understood from this request was that Datuk Seri Zahid wanted financial assistance from UKSB. He never mentioned the amount he wanted although he did say that the contribution should be made in cash and in Singapore dollars.

“The cash money was prepared by David Tan. Once ready, David Tan would give me the envelope containing the money and I would make the delivery.

“Usually, the three of us – Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani, UKSB director, David Tan and myself would go together to Datuk Seri Zahid’s house, but the handing over of the money is done by one person only.”

Lee said the delivery dates were not set and it would be done at Zahid’s convenience.

“Thus, the delivery can take place on any date of the month as decided by Datuk Seri Zahid. The handing over of the money would be done at his residence at night, usually after 10pm, and we would ensure that there were no other visitors at his house before entering.

“We would call him first before going to his house. Both his private and official residences had security guards or policemen, but we would always be allowed to go in without the need to report at the guardhouse,” he said.

He added that even though the payments were said to be political contributions, UKSB never made any payments into Umno’s account nor was it issued receipts or any acknowledgment for the payments.

Lee also said UKSB would never have given Zahid any money if he had not asked for it.

“While it is true that Datuk Seri Zahid did not explicitly ask us to give him money, he never questioned us about the money that we gave and not once did he ever ask us to take back the money,” he said.

The 15th prosecution witness said the first time he met Zahid was in May 2013 at Tawakal Hospital when the Umno president’s son had an accident and was treated there.

“It was a short meeting, Wan Quoris and I spoke briefly about our contracts with the home ministry. Datuk Seri Zahid didn’t say much but acknowledged what we told him.”

Zahid, 69, is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million from UKSB for himself as home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the One-Stop Centre in China and the VLN system, as well as to maintain the contract agreement to supply the VLN integrated system to the same company by the ministry.

For another seven counts, he is charged with obtaining for himself S$1,150,000, RM3 million, €15,000 and US$15,000 from the same company in connection with his official work.

He is charged with committing the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.

The trial before judge Yazid Mustafa continues tomorrow.