KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court was told that Yayasan Akalbudi was set up to do charity and welfare works by its founder, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the former Deputy Prime Minister from 2015 until 2018 said that his late father an ustaz and the principal of a religious school often reminded him to do charity when he had the ability to do so.
Filled with emotion, Ahmad Zahid said that he always remembers his father’s advise to prioritise on charity works and only use some of his salary for his family and himself.
“The Yayasan Akalbudi was my own idea. It started when I was serving in the corporate, when I was the Chairman of Bank Simpanan Nasional and the Chief Executive Officer of Kretam Holding Berhad, Tekala Corporation Berhad, Ramatex Berhad and Seng Hup Berhad.
“I received about RM120,000 every month back then, and I only used about RM30,000 to RM40,000 for my personal use and my family. I used the balance of my salary for donation and other charity and religious works.
“To do charity and religious works, I set up a foundation, Yayasan Budi in 1997. Yayasan Budi was renamed as Yayasan Akalbudi,” he said while reading out his 27-page witness statement which included his early education and career before High Court Judge, Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
Ahmad Zahid, 69 has entered his defence on 47 counts of charges including 12 counts of criminal breach of trust, eight counts of corruption and 27 counts of money-laundering charges involving millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.
According to him, the foundation is not only limited to the residents in the Bagan Datuk constituency, but it is opened to all.
However, he admitted that some charity works had to be temporarily ceased when the court froze the accounts of the foundation.
“I cannot afford it anymore,” he said. Proceeding is ongoing. -MalaysiaGazette