Zahid Hamidi : Was every cent donated for Amal Jariah?
Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi is in the fight of his political life. No hotshot Tan Sri Lawyer in his corner. Umno is nowhere to be seen for there are too many in Umno who sees Zahid Hamidi as their nemesis rather than their President. And Din, the back door prime minister of a back door government knows that a guilty verdict leaves him, by default, the main contender, if not the only contender of being the next Perdana Menteri. And so Din will not lift a finger, and so he should not, to assist Zahid Hamidi to find a way out of his conundrum – if a way out can ever be found.
As always, Zahid Hamidi fights his own battle. And what is Zahid Hamidi fighting today?
When all is said and done, Zahid Hamidi is accused of asking for bribes from contractors that had secured contracts from his Ministry: Kementerian Dalam Negri. Any way you want to look at it, the millions that were paid by these contractors after securing these tenders from KDN are now being construed to be bribes. And what the defense has to prove is simply this: that the money paid by these contractors was their personal donations for the benefit of Zahid Hamidi’s Yayasan Akal Budi amal jariah activities and the various charities and deserving institutions mentioned under the Yayasan Akal Budi, incorporated by Zahid Hamidi.
What is certain is that Zahid Hanidi is a wealthy man. Not as wealthy as Najib Razak or Rosmah Mansor. Not as wealthy as that Fake Tunku Nan nor as wealthy as any of Mahathir’s children but Zahid Hamidi is a wealthy man. That wealth he acquired from his corporate business. Businesses that he may or may not have acquired because of Umno. He has used part of that wealth for his charity work. And again there is no doubt on this score. The contractors donated willingly for projects that were awarded before he became a Home Affairs Minister.
Was not his own personal contributions to the Yayasan and to other Charities enough?
From what transpired it is obvious that Zahid Hamidi wanted the Yayasan to do more charity work. He wanted more Mosques and places of worship to be built. More Scholarships to be handed over to deserving students. He wanted to do more especially for the people of Sabak Bernam and more for others. Whether he wanted to do so because he wanted to do his amal jariah work, because he wanted to do more for his electorates and thus continue to get their votes – is moot. And that I think is the crux of what the defense and the prosecution are trying to do in Zahid Hamidi’s case. The Prosecution says that it is corruption. The Defense insists that the money was for Amal Jariah’s work.
I think what matters, in the end, is simply this. Can Zahid Hamidi account for every cent that was “donated” by the contractors? Did every single cent donated go to the Yayasan and for Amal Jariah?
From what I can see of Zahid and what his Yayasan has spent on charitable work, what he has spent building houses of worship, scholarships for students, Hari Raya, CNY and other gifts for other festivals – all this put together far exceeds what he has been charged with taking as bribes from the contractors that have secured tenders from his then Ministry KDN. That alone is proof positive that Zahid Hamidi is a decent man who takes his duty as a Muslim to do Amal Jariah work, seriously and responsibly.
So now we are witness to Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s fight for his political life. It does not help his case that a former executive secretary, Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly, was negligent in handling Yayasan Akal Budi’s cheques when making payments for credit cards belonging to him. It did not help Zahid Hamidi’s case that Major Mazlina Mazlan @ Ramly made payments which exceeded the amount required for the credit cards using the foundation’s cheques. It did not help Zahid Hamidi’s case when on being questioned by Ahmad Zaidi, she said that she was careless when making payment by cheque, dated Jan 7, 2014, with the correct amount but that she did mistype the date as January on the cheque when it should be February. Major Mazlina Mazlan also told the court that Ahmad Zahid gave her permission to use the stamp with his signature on Yayasan Akalbudi’s cheques. It was these cheques that she had mistakenly used for payments of his credit cards in 2014. She had used the stamp with Ahmad Zahid’s signature to also stamp certificates and invitation cards. In short, she confessed to negligence in handling cheques from Yayasan Akalbudi to pay for Zahid’s credit card bills.
Kecuaian is done by Zahid Hamid’s Executive Secretary Major Mazlina Mazlan. Should Zahid Hamidi be charged for her negligence?
And if that negligence by Zahid Hamid’s Executive Secretary was not enough there was also confusion as witnesses for the prosecution contradicted each other over their involvement in Yayasan Al-Falah which is a foundation for Zahid Hamid’s family. Lawyer B Muralidharan, a partner of the legal firm Lewis & Co., said he was appointed as a trustee for Yayasan Al-Falah owned by Zahid’s family and chaired by the latter’s younger brother, Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi. Muralidharan said he received instructions from Zahid to transfer cheques that the foundation received into its fixed deposit account but the 62-year-old lawyer could not provide any written document on the appointment of Lewis & Co. as a trustee of that Yayasan. Faisalluddin, who is the foundation’s lawyer said the foundation never appointed Lewis & Co. to manage its bank accounts or act for the Yayasan in any other capacity except to appeal against the freeze of a bank account by the MACC as per their letter signed by their chairman (Nasaee). But this does not mean Lewis & Co was to act on behalf of the foundation.
At worse, we are seeing how the personal affairs of Zahid Hamidi, now President of Umno, are being managed. If Zahid Hamidi is to be found guilty of anything, it is that he has entrusted his personal affairs to individuals that have caused him to be charged with 47 charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for bribery and 27 for money-laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akal Budi. At best, the court will decide that Zahid Hamidi should not be held responsible for the negligence of others. Enough said.