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‘Political gift not like piggy bank’

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SHAH ALAM: A political donation should not be like “putting money in a piggy bank on a regular basis”, but can be a one-time payment if it was really a donation, says indictment in corruption trial of Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in Datuk Seri. he said.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran said the former deputy prime minister should also be seen as a public servant and as such had no business seeking and accepting funds, including political donations.

It is also an offense to do so under Section 165 of the Penal Code, Raja Rozela said yesterday as he closed the filings at the Shah Alam High Court.

Raja Rozela, who heads the prosecution team, said the law does not recognize political donations either, and politicians who take money and call it political donations flout the law.

It highlighted witness testimony that Ahmad Zahid, who was also Home Secretary at the time, received monthly payments from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) for four years.

She said that Ahmad Zahid must first be seen as a public servant who falls within the ambit of Section 65 of the Penal Code, as opposed to a politician who holds a ministerial position.

“His salary is paid by the government with taxpayer money and he is paid to serve the public and not for the public to serve him by handing out cash every month,” he said.

Raja Rozela also told Judge Mohd Yazid Mustafa that Ahmd Zahid did not need to seek funds on the pretext that they were intended for his political activities.

Ahmad Zahid is charged with 33 counts of receiving bribes from the UKSB during his tenure as Home Secretary to extend the company’s contract to continue operating the one-stop center in China and the Foreign Visa Scheme (VLN).

The alleged bribe was also to ensure that the contract agreement for the supply of the integrated VLN system by the company was upheld.

He also faces seven additional charges for allegedly obtaining for himself 1.15 million Singapore dollars, 3 million ringgit, 15,000 Swiss francs and 15,000 US dollars in his capacity as Home Secretary.

During cross-examination by the prosecution, former UKSB directors VK Lee and David Tan had stated that the funds given to Ahmad Zahid were contributions earmarked for political finance.

Raja Rozela said it was illogical for the company to make monthly payments for four years and claim they were political donations.

Since it was done monthly for more than four years, the UKSB had paid him and not Umno, he said.

Raja Rozela also highlighted how the UKSB directors had easy access to Ahmad Zahid’s private residence in Country Heights Kajang, as well as his official residence in Putrajaya when handing over the cash, which was usually after 10pm.

He also reminded the court how one of the UKSB directors, Tan, had said in his testimony that he had personally given RM3mil in cash in a wheeled bag to Ahmad Zahid.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid’s lead attorney, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, in his rebuttal to the indictment filing, said that political donations were now recognized as a defence.

He cited the case of former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, in which he was acquitted by the Court of Appeal for receiving a donation of RM2mil from a businessman to pay for two by-elections in 2016.

He said UKSB directors Tan, Lee and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani, who were witnesses for the prosecution, also testified that the money given to Ahmad Zahid was intended for Umno.

Hisyam reiterated that Ahmad Zahid was the victim of a selective prosecution as other notable and key figures who had also allegedly received UKSB funds had not been rescued.

Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, who is also part of Ahmad Zahid’s defense team, said that although the money was claimed to be from the UKSB, the prosecution did not prove where the funds came from on all counts.

“According to the evidence in court, it was from Hong Kong and from dividends from an offshore company in Labuan,” he said.

He added that the money changers involved in receiving and redirecting the funds to the UKSB were also not called as witnesses by the prosecution.

Earlier in his presentation, Raja Rozela said that it did not matter where the money came from, as the crux of the matter was that the UKSB directors gave the funds to Ahmad Zahid.

He also said that in the case of Tengku Adnan, the main witness had testified that he had given the money to Umno.


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Anwar to meet govt depts, agencies to focus on cost of living issues on Nov 27

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KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will hold a meeting with government departments and agencies in Putrajaya on Sunday (November 27) that will focus on cost of living issues affecting people.

“Tonight, we held a prayer session with parishioners and friends in Sungai Long.

“Tomorrow morning at 11am there will be a meeting with government departments and agencies in Putrajaya that will focus on the cost of living issues that are burdening the people,” he said in a post on his Facebook and Twitter accounts on Saturday. (November 26).

Anwar is scheduled to attend the 2022 National Cost of Living Action Council special meeting at 11am on Sunday in Perdana Putra, Putrajaya. – Bernama


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Football: Malaysia Cup 2022: JDT take trophy after downing Red Giants 2-1

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PETALING JAYA: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) has become the 2022 Malaysia Cup champion after beating Selangor 2-1 in the final held at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Saturday (November 26).

JDT and the Red Giants were tied 1–1 at halftime before JDT’s Fernando Forestieri scored the game-winner in the 59th minute.

MORE TO COME


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I was just there to see my friends, says Ismail Sabri rubbishing talk of meeting between BN, PAS leaders

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PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob says he was at a country club in Petaling Jaya for a farewell party for former employees of the Prime Minister’s Department on Friday (November 25).

The former prime minister strongly denied that it was said he was at the club for a closed-door meeting between Barisan Nasional and PAS leaders, Sinar Harian reported.

Ismail, Umno’s vice president, said he would only meet friends for a farewell ceremony.

READ ALSO: Dr Wee refutes claims that he attended a discussion with Umno and PAS leaders

“These (rumors) are malicious slander meant to tarnish my name. Nowadays, I can’t even meet my friends,” he told the Malaysiakini online news portal.

Talk about a meeting at the club had gone viral on social media after photos of various politicians arriving at the club were posted online.

Ismail added that it was unfair for certain quarters to label him a “traitor” for meeting with PAS leaders, however BN leaders who met with their Pakatan Harapan counterparts earlier this week were branded as “heroes”. .

The viral post lists Ismail, former Umno General Secretary Tan Sri Annuar Musa, PAS General Secretary Takiyuddin Hassan, MCA President Datuk Dr. Seri Wee Ka Siong and former Putrajaya Umno Deputy Director Datuk Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz, among those who attended the meeting. .

Earlier, Dr. Wee said in a Facebook post that he had been to the club after receiving an invitation from two businessmen.

“It was to have dim sum for brunch at a restaurant located in the country club.

“When I arrived, I met former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who was in the cafeteria next to the restaurant.

“I greeted him before my friends arrived. When they (my friends) arrived, I went directly to the aforementioned restaurant for lunch,” he said, adding that he was hurt by the slanderous accusations.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri also denied that Barisan General Treasurer Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein was present at the farewell ceremony.

Sinar Harian reported that Ismail Sabri also said that other Umno leaders such as Khairy Jamaluddin were also slandered for going against party chairman Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“Right now, because they want to support other people to form a government and appoint someone to be prime minister, the Umno leaders are slandering each other and dividing the party,” he said.


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