KUALA LUMPUR: A familiar name among Malaysians cropped up in the High Court today during the trial of former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Businessman Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa, popularly known as ‘Datuk K’, who is married to pop diva Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza, was mentioned by a witness who revealed that the former had introduced him to Zahid in 2015.
The 21st prosecution witness, Datuk Wasi Khan @ Wasiyu Zama Israr Ahmad, 50, who was chief executive officer of Armada Holdings Sdn Bhd, gave details about how he obtained a RM10 million cheque for a loan issued by Yayasan Akalbudi, a charity foundation founded by Zahid.
The cheque dated Nov 16, 2015, was a loan for the company's capital to get an Indonesian steam coal suppliers spot contract with TNB Fuel Services Sdn Bhd (TNBF), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).
He said in 2015, the company needed a RM10 million capital to fulfil the minimum requirement to secure the contract.
Wasi said he contacted his friends, including Khalid for a loan.
“Khalid arranged a meeting with Zahid, who was then home minister, with the hope that the RM10 million capital could be reduced to RM5 million,” said the witness who was testifying in the trial of Zahid, who is charged with 47 criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering charges involving millions of ringgit of Yayasan Akalbudi funds.
Wasi further explained that during the 20-minute meeting at the Home Ministry’s office in Putrajaya, Zahid expressed how he did not want to interfere in matters pertaining to TNB policies.
“A month later, Zahid invited me to meet him in Parliament. I went alone.
“In that meeting, he ordered an Affin Bank Bhd officer to hand over a RM10 million cheque to me. Zahid gave me a month to pay back the money,” he said.
The witness said the cheque that was made to Armada Holdings was issued by Yayasan Akalbudi, and no loan agreement letter was issued as it was based on trust between two friends (Zahid and Khalid).
Wasi said prior to receiving the cheque, Zahid had not informed him that the loan was from the charity foundation.
“I felt responsible to pay back the money on my own initiative with interest of about four per cent when I knew that it was Yayasan’s money, which was meant for orphans and the poor.
“A month after I took up the loan I paid back Yayasan in full, with interest. I signed two cheques valued at RM10 million and RM69,722.65 for Yayasan Akalbudi,” he said.
Trial continues before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.