Umno president Zahid Hamidi leaves anti-graft agency after over 8 hours of questioning

Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya on Oct 10, 2018. PHOTO: EPA

PUTRAJAYA - Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi left the headquarters of the country's anti-graft agency at 5.40pm on Wednesday (Oct 10), more than eight hours after he arrived for questioning in the morning.

The Umno president was all smiles as he left, but did not entertain questions from reporters.

He was summoned to give a statement over an alleged misappropriation of funds from his family-owned welfare foundation. This is the third time that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has summoned Datuk Seri Zahid to its headquarters for questioning by its officers since the May 9 polls.

Mr Zahid, 65, arrived at the MACC at around 9.20am, donning a yellow batik shirt.

The MACC is looking into allegations that RM800,000 (S$267,000) of the funds of the foundation Yayasan Akalbudi was used to pay off Mr Zahid and his wife's credit card bills.

The settlements were made between 2014 and 2015.

Mr Zahid has said the payment made by the charity for the credit card spending was an error made by an aide, and that he has since settled the bill himself.

The Perak Member of Parliament was Malaysia's Home Minister in charge of the MACC prior to the historic May polls that ousted the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition.

On July 2, the MACC recorded Mr Zahid's statement over 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) on a purported meeting with a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family who is said to have donated money to former premier Najib Razak.

The following day, Mr Zahid was called in to assist in investigations into the family charity, of which he is the chairman.

Yayasan Akalbudi, which does charitable work such as building mosques, tahfiz (Islamic) schools and orphanages, was set up by his family with personal donations from himself and his close friends.

Records showed the foundation was registered in 1997 and its role is to receive and administer funds to eradicate poverty.

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