Umno president Zahid Hamidi back at MACC for questioning

Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arriving yesterday at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya. Datuk Seri Zahid was interrogated by anti-corruption officers over alleged misappropriation of funds from his family-owned wel
Former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arriving yesterday at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya. Datuk Seri Zahid was interrogated by anti-corruption officers over alleged misappropriation of funds from his family-owned welfare foundation.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

After 8 hours with anti-graft agency, ex-DPM will be back for next round today

Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be back at the anti-graft agency for another round of questioning today after spending eight hours there yesterday.

This will mark the fourth time he is summoned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as it investigates an alleged misappropriation of funds from his family-owned welfare foundation.

MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki confirmed yesterday that the 65-year-old politician is expected to have his statement taken again but declined to divulge more details.

A source told The Straits Times that the Umno president is expected to have his statement recorded at around 9.30am.

Datuk Seri Zahid, who was accompanied by his daughter, Datuk Nurulhidayah, left the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya at 5.40pm yesterday after being grilled for more than eight hours. He was all smiles as he left but did not entertain questions from reporters.

Asked if her statement was also recorded, Madam Nurulhidayah denied that she was questioned and said she was present at the agency only to accompany her father.

However, Datuk Seri Azam later confirmed that MACC had recorded the statements of Madam Nurulhidayah and Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi - the stepbrother of Mr Zahid.

 
 
 

"The two of them recorded their statements today, won't be continued tomorrow," he was quoted as saying by New Straits Times Online. He did not say what they were questioned about.

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

The payments were made between 2014 and 2015.

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

The Perak Member of Parliament was Malaysia's home minister in charge of the MACC before the historic May polls that ousted the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition from government.

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 prime minister 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 show that the foundation was registered in 1997 and its purpose is to receive and administer funds to eradicate poverty.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2018, with the headline 'Zahid back at MACC for questioning'. Print Edition | Subscribe