Zahid asked for a monthly cash payment, all in Singapore dollars

(Malaysia Now) – Former Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) director Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani told the Shah Alam High Court today that the financial assistance given to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was aimed at strengthening the company’s position as a home ministry contractor.

Wan Quoris, 42, said with the assistance, the company had not just secured support from the former deputy prime minister, but also managed to reduce competitive disruption from other companies running the same business.

“Zahid asked for assistance, so we gave him assistance. What was important to us was to ensure that our business was not disrupted since there were several other companies lobbying for the job that we were doing,” he said in his witness statement during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.

The witness said without Zahid’s help and support, the company would not have been able to retain or extend the contracts relating to the foreign visa system (VLN).

Wan Quoris Shah also admitted that the company had given cash to Zahid on several occasions.

“The cash was given after he (Zahid) asked UKSB to make a political donation for Umno. He did not ask openly, but by the way he spoke, I understood that he was expecting a monetary contribution from UKSB.

“The contribution made by UKSB every month was in cash, all in Singapore dollars. This was what Datuk Seri (Zahid) requested from us,” he said.

Earlier, the 15th prosecution witness, Harry Lee Vui Khun, who is also a former director of UKSB, told the court as well that from 2014 to 2018, the company had sent cash in Singapore dollars to Zahid in connection with the VLN contracts.

Meanwhile, Wan Quoris said it was normal for businesses to lobby government officials for contracts.

“For UKSB, our purpose of meeting with Zahid at that time was to strengthen our position as the sole contractor to supply the VLN system for the ministry so that no one could disrupt UKSB’s business,” he said.

Zahid, 69, faces 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and then 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 agreement to supply VLN integrated system paraphernalia to the same company by the home ministry.

On another seven counts, Zahid was charged as home minister with obtaining for himself S$1,150,000, RM3 million, €15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company in connection with his official work.

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

The trial before judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa continues on June 13.