Former Deputy Prime Minister cum President of UMNO, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 23 JUNE 2020. money laundering criminal breach of trust corruption Yayasan Akalbudi foundation Paul Wong Sang Woo donation RM10 million
Former Deputy Prime Minister cum President of UMNO, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 23 JUNE 2020.

By Kasthuri Jeevendran

KUALA LUMPUR – The corruption, money laundering, criminal breach of trust trial involving former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi resumed today with the 98th prosecution witness.

Its witness, Assistant Enforcer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Christ Sheldon Anak Merunyang who was involved in the investigation of the case revealed to the court that a donor contributed RM10 million to Yayasan Akalbudi without much questions.

Christ Sheldon, who was tasked to record the testimony from the contributor from Singapore and the Director of Chia Bee Enterprise Sdn Bhd. gave the funds using cheque from Messrs Lewis & Co. The businessman, Wong Sang Woo, who is known as Paul met Ahmad Zahid, who was the then Home Minister at a dinner event.

According to Christ, Paul revealed that he felt ‘special’ when a minister who became the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) asked him to contribute RM10 million for charity works to Yayasan Akalbudi founded by Ahmad Zahid.

“When asked why he donated such a huge amount of money, he said that he felt special when a DPM asked him to donate for charity. As a philanthropist, he wanted to donate at his personal capacity.

“At the end of the dinner, Ahmad Zahid told Paul that he will send a representative to him for the donation.

“Paul also introduced himself as a businessman who is involved in stock trading, timber businesses, property investment, fashion and delivery agent.

“He was then contacted by someone in the early 2016, asking about the RM10 million donation for Yayasan Akalbudi. The caller also requested for a RM1 million payment for each cheque to Messrs Lewis & Co.

“Paul could not remember who told him to issue those cheques as he was not in Malaysia at that time but he found that the payments were made on 21 April 2016,” said Christ before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Ahmad Zahid is facing 47 counts of charges involving the funds of Yayasan Akalbudi. 12 of it involved criminal breach of trust, eight counts of corruption charges and 27 counts of money laundering charges.

He was accused of receiving millions of ringgit from various quarters through Lewis & Co for money laundering chargers. A huge portion of the amount was used to place fixed deposit under the name of the firm.

The prosecution is led by Deputy Public Prosecutor, Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran, meanwhile, the defence is led by counsel, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.

Meanwhile, Christ said that Paul could not afford to prepare that amount of money immediately and made a RM10 million loan from KTS Holdings Sdn Bhd (KTS).

The loan from his friend, the late Ngu Ngiong Hien was unrecorded as it was made based on their friendship.

Meanwhile, Mohd Amirudin, the 96th prosecution witness and an investigation officer from the MACC said yesterday that Paul cannot be traced for testimony now.

The efforts to track him, including his company in Sarawak have failed. Immigration record also found that Paul is currently not in the country.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the President of UMNO and the Member of Parliament of Bagan Datoh is also facing 40 counts of corruption charges at the Shah Alam High Court related to the implementation of foreign workers system in Malaysia. The trial has yet to begin. –MalaysiaGazette

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