KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Photo) has finished testifying in his defense on 47 counts of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi, a charitable foundation he founded.
The 69-year-old former deputy prime minister first took the witness stand on April 13 to testify in his defense before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah. He was on the witness stand for 17 days.
His lawyer, Hamidi Mohd Noh, informed the court that the defense intended to call 40 more witnesses.
Judge: Do you need to call 40 more witnesses?
Hamidi: Yes, my lord. The witnesses won’t be long. We will abide by court hours.
Deputy Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran suggested that only 20 witnesses be called to testify and that more dates be set aside for the trial.
However, Ahmad Zahid’s main lawyer, Datuk Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said the additional dates were not necessary, Bernama reported.
The court then proceeded to set 20 days from September 19 to 22, September 26 to 29, October 17 to 20 and 31, as well as November 1 to 3 and November 7 to 10 for hearings to accommodate the 40 witnesses. In his testimony, Ahmad Zahid told the court that he did not misappropriate the foundation’s funds for personal interests, despite being its founder.
He said the foundation’s funds are used for activities permitted under the Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) or the foundation’s objectives.
“I can’t use the funds for personal interests,” the former deputy prime minister said during Hamidi’s reexamination.
Asked by another of his lawyers, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, whether Chew Ben Ben (former Deputy CEO of Datasonic Group Berhad) told him about the RM6mil check, Ahmad Zahid said it was a political contribution.
Ahmad Zaidi: Why was the Datasonic contribution, which Datuk Seri (Ahmad Zahid) received, credited to Messrs. Lewis & Co’s account and not used for political activities?
Ahmad Zahid: My Lord, any political contributions, including for my personal activities as a politician, I place in the account of Messrs. Lewis & Co as trustee of YAB (the foundation) to be channeled for activities permitted under mergers and acquisitions . to meet YAB’s goals.
During earlier proceedings, Ahmad Zahid told the court that the two checks for RM6mil he received from Chew when he was deputy prime minister were political contributions and not bribes.
Peter Anthony uses Sabah budget debate to apologise for ‘words, actions’ during GE15
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Kesejahteraan Demoktratik Malaysia (KDM) Chairman Datuk Peter Anthony (Photo) took the opportunity to apologize for any wrong words and actions that may have occurred throughout his campaign leading up to the 15th General Election (GE15).
He was giving his budget debate speech during the state legislature sitting here on Tuesday (Nov. 29), when he apologized without directly referring to any issue or issue.
“The general elections recently concluded and whatever has happened in the past, I hope it stays in the past,” he said.
“We are now in a new government and we hope we can all work together at the state and federal level to budget and move Sabah forward to bring political stability and economic growth,” Peter said.
Representing the party and all its members, he said, “if something wrong was said and done, I apologize.”
On November 5, a riot broke out at the Tenom nomination center when Peter’s nomination was rejected hours after it was accepted by the state Election Commission.
A group of supporters went on a rampage, forcing security forces to use tear gas to disperse the crowd at around 2:00 p.m.
Earlier, Peter spoke about the issues facing his Melalap constituency, which falls under Tenom’s parliamentary seat, including water and electricity supply issues, a lack of shops, economic opportunities and a lack of infrastructure development. .
I hoped that the government would take steps to address these problems, for the betterment of the people of Melalap.
He supported the State Budget 2023 which was introduced in the assembly by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor on Friday (Nov 25).
PTPTN repayment incentive taken up by over 11,000 S’wak graduates since 2019
KUCHING: Some 11,095 Sarawakian graduates have benefited from the Yayasan Sarawak Higher Education National Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan repayment incentive since 2019, says Datuk Roland Sagah.
The state’s education, innovation and talent development minister said the incentive has risen to RM36.1 million since it was introduced.
READ ALSO: Budget 2023: Streamline incentives offered, PTPTN borrowers urged
“Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that provides such an incentive. Another 30 million ringgit has been approved for this incentive next year,” he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly as he wrapped up business related to his ministry on Tuesday (Nov 29).
Sagah said the 30:30 incentive was part of the state government’s efforts to help ease the burden on Sarawak graduates of repaying their PTPTN student loans.
Under the scheme, the state government will subsidize 30% of the balance of graduates who have already repaid at least 30% of their loans.
For example, it said that a graduate with a loan of RM10,000 must have paid back at least RM3,000 to be eligible for the scheme.
READ ALSO: PTPTN loan discounts a welcome move
“With this, you are eligible for a 30% incentive on the balance of RM7,000, which goes up to RM2,100.
“Therefore, the remaining balance of the graduate’s loan will be RM4,900,” Sagah said, adding that the scheme encouraged graduates to meet their loan repayment obligations.
Sagah also said that the first Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary School (YSISS) in Petra Jaya began operations on April 4 with an initial cohort of 115 students from across the state.
READ ALSO: Abang Johari hopes Yayasan Sarawak International Schools will produce high-level students
“Once fully developed, the campus will have a capacity of 500 students in years seven to 11, which is equivalent to grades one through five,” he said.
It added that the construction of YSISS Kuching at mile 12 of Kuching-Serian Road was scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of next year, while the construction of YSISS Sibu was scheduled to start early next year.
“Both YSISS Bintulu and Miri are currently in the planning stage,” he said.
Three killed, six injured in car-van collision in Kluang
KLUANG: Three people were killed and six others injured after an accident involving two vehicles at KM15 Jalan Kluang – Teck Wah Hing here.
Kluang OCPD Asst Comm Bahrin Mohd Noh said the accident happened around 4pm on Monday (November 28), after a 20-year-old driver of a car lost control of the wheels and collided with a van.
“According to the initial investigation, the van was heading towards Kluang from Renggam, while the car was moving in the opposite direction.
“The driver of the car then lost control and skidded into the oncoming lane, causing the collision to occur,” he said in a statement here Monday.
He added that the family of four in the van sustained injuries and is being treated at Kluang Hospital.
“There were four people in the van, including two children between the ages of 11 and 15. They are currently receiving medical treatment at the hospital.
“Meanwhile, the four people in the van are colleagues. Two of them, including the driver, died at the scene, while one more person died while receiving treatment at the hospital,” he said.
He said the deceased are between 17 and 21 years old.
The case is being investigated under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.
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