Umno’s Shahril Hamdan, MCA leaders named as recipients of UKSB’s political funding contribution in Zahid’s corruption trial

(MMO) – In yet another revelation, Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan’s name came up in court today during the corruption trial of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over the award of a foreign visa system (VLN) contract.

Other recipients of financial contributions for political funding purposes given by Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB), a local company that has been implicated in the VLN contract award, were former MCA leaders Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy and Tan Sri Ong Ka Chuan.

Under questioning from the defence, UKSB administrative manager David Tan Siong Sun told the High Court that Shahril received a total of RM1.16 million for political funding purposes by virtue of being a close ally of Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Tan earlier affirmed the entries he had made in a ledger he owned for bookkeeping purposes on cash payments made by UKSB to various politicians, government staff and Ahmad Zahid himself when cross-examined by defence lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh.

Tan referred to Shahril as “S Pat” in his ledger, which was shown to the court today.

Hamidi: Shahril is a friend of Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani. Shahril is also a close ally of KJ; therefore, he is also a close ally of Wan Quoris.

Tan: That is correct.

Previously, Wan Quoris Shah affirmed in court of his close relationship with Khairy and further explained that the financial contributions were not personal, irregular, and circumstantial.

Khairy is one of several politicians implicated in Ahmad Zahid’s trial, with others also named as recipients of the cash payments, including former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

While no dates were given, Tan also affirmed in court that Shahril was paid on a monthly basis.

Hamidi: He (Shahril) is being paid monthly, based on the ledger?

Tan: That is correct.

Hamidi: In total, Shahril received RM1,162,000 from this ledger?

Tan: Yes.

Hamidi: For political funding and general election purposes?

Tan: Yes.

Hamidi: So Shahril is being paid because of him being a close ally of KJ and Wan Quoris?

Tan: That’s right.

When asked if was aware of Shahril’s current political position, Tan said he was unsure but later agreed to a suggestion by Hamidi that Shahril is Umno’s current information chief.

As for the MCA leaders named, Tan affirmed the codename and entries he had made in relation to financial contributions given to the leaders, with Chan and Ong being referred to as “Prof” and “OKC” respectively.

In court, Tan said Chan received a total of RM7,856,920; while Ong received a total of RM922,820.

However, no dates were provided in court as to when the payments were made.

Chan previously held the transport portfolio during his stint in the Cabinet between 2003 and 2008. He was also a former MCA deputy president.

Ong previously held two portfolios during his stint in the Cabinet as minister of housing and local government from 2008 to 2009; and international trade and industry from 2015 to 2018.

Under re-examination by prosecutors, Tan said he did not lodge any police reports over the multiple denials issued by the purported recipients, citing the ongoing trial, and therefore, it was unnecessary to do so.

Tan also told the court UKSB did not disclose the ledger’s fund source to auditors as there exists a business arrangement between the company’s subcontractor in Hong Kong appointed to implement the VLN on UKSB’s behalf.

He explained that the parties in Hong Kong have agreed to arrange fundings for political purposes by not having to channel said money directly to the company’s bank account.

Ahmad Zahid is facing 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 the then home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the OSCs 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.

For another seven counts, Ahmad Zahid was charged as home minister to have obtained for himself S$1.15 million, 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 the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.

The trial before Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa continues tomorrow.