KUALA LUMPUR: A bank officer told the High Court today that Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had ordered her to liquidate an amount of RM17.9 million from charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi's fixed deposit account.
Narimah Miswadi, 47, who was the Affin Bank Bhd, Jalan Bunus branch bank operations officer, said Zahid told her that the purpose of the money was to build the Yayasan Akalbudi building in Bagan Datuk, Perak.
She said the former deputy prime minister had also ordered to liquidate the money and issue a banker’s cheque to Messrs Lewis & Co.
“On June 16, 2016, I was invited to the Home Ministry office in Putrajaya to meet Zahid and during our meeting, he ordered me to make a withdrawal of the foundation’s fixed deposit account and to issue a banker’s cheque to Messrs Lewis & Co.
“Zahid told me the purpose of the withdrawal was for the building of Yayasan Akalbudi in Bagan Datuk.
“After the meeting, Major Mazlina (Zahid’s former aide) prepared a letter to the bank,” she said.
She was testifying as the sixth prosecution witness in Zahid’s trial on 47 criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering charges involving millions of Ringgit of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds.
During cross-examination by Zahid’s counsel Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal on why the money was transferred to the firm instead of the developer, the witness said she was just following orders.
Zaidi: If I say that Zahid told you the transfer was made to Lewis & Co because the firm is a trustee of the Yayasan, do you agree?
Narimah: I am not sure, the word trustee was not mentioned.
Zaidi: As a banker, were you not curious to know at that time why the transfer was made to Lewis & Co instead of to the developer?
Narimah: At that time, Zahid was the deputy prime minister and I could not refuse his orders.
She also admitted that she was nervous during the discussion with Zahid since it was her first time meeting with the former deputy prime minister who she described as ‘lighthearted’.
She also maintained her answer that Zahid told her the withdrawal was for Yayasan Akalbudi building when suggested that she probably misheard what Zahid said.
However, during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Lee Keng Fatt on whether the withdrawal was for the purchase or development of the foundation’s building, Narimah answered she could not remember.