When Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was slapped with 47 charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), money laundering and corruption involving RM124 million, it was already a record. At that time, his former boss Najib Razak was just facing 32 charges while wife Rosmah Mansor 17 charges. The charges against former prime minister Najib has since climbed to 42.
But to ensure former deputy premier Zahid remains the undisputed champion, newly-appointed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya had decided to add more charges. As the (former) second most powerful man, the gangster Zahid became the first man in the history facing a whopping 87 criminal charges.
In terms of probability, any kindergarten kid can tell that Zahid Hamidi’s chances of being sent to prison are twice that of Najib Razak. And there’s no guarantee that the MACC will not add more charges to his portfolio. In short, if Zahid is able to walk away a free man, you can bet that Najib could also emerge innocence in his current 1MDB and SRC International trials.
Make no mistake. Based on the trials so far, both Najib and Zahid will be found guilty and sent to jail. The question is who will get the honour to check-in first to the Bamboo River Resort. Judging by the complexity of their cases, it appears that Mr. Zahid may emerge the champion in the race to the prison as his corruption case is quite straight forward.
Unlike Najib’s complicated corruption and money laundering activities, thanks to top brains Jho Low, a graduate of the prestigious Wharton Business School, Zahid’s corruption was self-taught and primitive. That was why Zahid, known for his thuggery while in power, had to beg for the return of his passport to perform “Umrah” in Saudi as he believed only the God could save him.
You didn’t see Najib and Rosmah asking for passports to do the same, unlike the panicked Java-immigrant Zahid. It would be a challenge for someone like Zahid who possesses “IQ of a carrot” to explain how RM800,000 was misappropriated from Yayasan Akalbudi foundation to pay off his and his wife’s credit card bills.
Yayasan Akalbudi, founded by Zahid Hamidi, had seven active fixed deposit accounts amounting to RM17.9 million (RM17,953,191.04 to be precise) in 2016. Yet, Zulkifli Senteri, a former Yayasan Akalbudi director reveals that the foundation had never conducted an Annual General Meeting (AGM) since he was appointed as a director in 1997.
Mr. Zulkifli also told the court that he didn’t know the sources of the funds to run the foundation. The witness also said during his tenure as the director, no discussions were held on the activities carried out by the foundation or on the expenditure for any projects. Heck, there was no financial statement, let alone audited accounts of the foundation.
It was like the Yayasan Akalbudi was a secret project known only to Zahid and his wife. More importantly, if the purposes of the foundation were to build mosques, suraus, tahfiz centres as well as to help underprivileged groups, why not a single penny of the RM31 million funds entrusted to Zahid as a trustee of the charity foundation was used for the benefit of the poor?
Instead, the money trail shows that the foundation’s money was used to pay for Zahid and wife’s personal credit card bills, and to make purchases for motor vehicle insurance policies and road taxes for private owned vehicles. Yes, between Jan 2014 and Jan 2016, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his wife Hamidah spent almost RM1.3 million around the world, including for shopping.
The despicable couple used the charity foundation’s money to pay credit card bills to the tune of RM1,296,715.98 after happily holidaying in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong and Ukraine. And they bought branded items like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Tod’s, Diane Von Furstenberg, Brioni, Roberto Cavalli, Stuart Weitzman, and Zilli.
An annual salary of RM35,726.80 might sound a lot to many unemployable Malay graduates. But to Zahid, the money was just loose change paid for the road tax for his family’s fleet of 20 vehicles – including two Harley-Davidson motorbikes, a Ducati Hypermotard and a Ducati Diavel Carbon motorbike, a Kawasaki KLX250 motorcycle, BMW R1200 GS and BMW R1200RT.
The disgraced family also owned BMW C600 motorcycles, two Lexus LX series cars, three Toyota Vellfire cars, a BMW 320i (A) car, a Mercedez Benz CLS 350, a Toyota Land Cruiser, a Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Jeep Wrangler, an Audi Q7s and a Honda C100 motorcycle. He even burns RM44,611 in insurance policies. Exactly how could Zahid afford so many luxury cars and superbikes?
Simple – Zahid had been accepting bribes, at least up to RM124 million, based on the first 47 charges slapped on him. In exchange to help companies obtain projects, like the supplying of passport chips and the appointment of operator of migrant visa one-stop centres in Pakistan and Nepal, he received bribes in his capacity as then-Home Minister (2013 to 2018).
Part of the dirty money he received was channelled to Yayasan Akalbudi, a supposedly charity foundation. From there, the money was legitimised as clean money so that his family could use the cash to indulge in luxury handbags, exotic holidays, and expensive cars and even for the purchase of two bungalows in Kajang, Selangor.
Yes, Zahid and his wife are toast because their criminal breach of trust, bribery and money laundering are easier to prove than Najib’s 1MDB scandal. It doesn’t matter if Zahid was already a multi-millionaire 25 years ago, as claimed by UMNO secretary-general Annuar Musa. He needs to prove his luxury lifestyle actually came from legitimate sources of income.
That probably explains why the panicked Zahid made a silly argument that he’s being slapped with 87 criminal charges because he did not allow Chin Peng’s ashes to return to Malaysia during his stint as home minister. And he’s paying the price now because Chin Peng’s lawyer at that time – Tommy Thomas – is now the country’s attorney general.
The crook tries to politicise his own corruption with a dead man’s ashes. That’s an incredible shameless allegation from the Java-immigrant. The Attorney General Chambers will not be able to prosecute him without sufficient investigation and evidence from the MACC and police. Actually, he should ask why his colleague Hishammudin Hussein is still a free man, but not him.
Yes, actually what Zahid did was normal among the 191 UMNO warlords in their capacity as division chief. Every one accepted bribes in exchange for projects, including Hishammuddin. Despite RM500 million land swap deals and RM300 million procurement of 6 helicopters scandal involving the Defence Ministry, why hasn’t former Defence Minister Hishammuddin been charged?
Zahid has himself to blame for offending Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Zahid’s corruption is peanut if compared to Hishammuddin’s. But unfortunately to Zahid, he had insulted and mocked Mahathir with regards to his Indian ancestry – calling the old man son of Iskandar “Kutty” during the 2018 general election campaign. Hishammuddin did not badmouth Mahathir.
To the 94-year-old Mahathir, it’s an insult of the highest degree to label him as some sort of Indian pariah. Like Michael Jackson, who had tried very hard to appear white, Mahathir too wants to become a more Malay than the Malays. Obviously ashamed of his Indian roots, the prime minister – hilariously – argued that there are only spoonfuls of Indian blood left in his body.
So, Zahid should realize that his trouble didn’t start because Tommy was vengeful due to Chin Peng’s case. Rather, his toxic mouth – calling Mahathir the son of “Kutty” – has angered the old man. Just because Mahathir appears to be senile doesn’t mean he had forgotten what Zahid had said. Now that Zahid and Najib are blocking UMNO from joining Mahathir’s party, there’s more reason to send Zahid to jail.
– Finance Twitter