Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at Shah Alam High Court on June 16, 2022. — Photo by Yusof Mat Isa
By Kenneth Tee
Thursday, June 16, 2022 11:35 AM MYT
SHAH ALAM, 16 June – Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) had referred to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as “Monster”, after snack brand Mamee Monster, in its register for cash payments of hundreds of thousands of ringgits to the former Home Secretary between 2014 and 2018, the High Court heard today.
This came to light during the direct examination of former UKSB administrative director David Tan Siong Sun, who is also the 17th witness for the prosecution.
Questioned by Deputy Prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran, Tan explained that he had assigned code names to many recipients of the company’s financial contributions – in order to conceal their true identities – to various politicians, government employees and Ahmad Zahid himself.
“I want to clarify, back when I was eating a Mamee Monster snack when I was making a ledger entry for Datuk Seri,” Tan explained, referring to the defendant by his honorific.
Besides the iconic Malaysian snack, Tan referred to Ahmad Zahid using other terms including “Z, ZH, YB, Mon” and “Young Boy” in his registry.
Tan further claimed in court that only he knew of all the codenames he had assigned in the ledger, adding that he was ‘worried’ that it would accidentally fall into the wrong hands and then be exposed. .
Tan, who is not a qualified accountant, also testified that he prepared the general ledger using Microsoft Excel on his personal laptop for accounting purposes.
In his witness statement, Tan said his job at the UKSB consisted primarily of managing and overseeing the day-to-day administration of the business, supervising administrative staff and carrying out instructions received from its directors.
He was also instructed by former UKSB director Harry Lee Vui Khiun – who was also the 15th prosecution witness – to ensure that sufficient funds were prepared to be handed over to Ahmad Zahid each month.
“I kept records of all payments made to Datuk Seri from 2014 to 2018.
“It’s actually for my personal file because the amount of money involved was huge. The main entries I included in the ledger are the amount available for each month, the amount withdrawn and the name or nickname of the intended recipient.
“Usually I would enter entries every day, but on some busy days I would write on a piece of paper first before entering the details in the ledger later that day or the next day,” Tan said in his witness statement. .
According to Tan, the entire registry was kept in three separate files with backup copies for each; all were password protected and stored on two different USB sticks.
According to the facts of the case, the UKSB entered into several agreements with the Malaysian government and the Ministry of Home Affairs for visa facilitation services by operating several One Stop Centers (OSCs) in China from 2012.
Ahmad Zahid faces 33 charges of taking bribes worth 13.56 million Singapore dollars (RM42 million) from the UKSB to induce himself in his capacity as civil servant and interior minister at the time to extend the company’s contract as a CSO operator. in China and the VLN system as well as to maintain the agreement for the supply of accessories of the integrated VLN system to the same company by the Ministry of the Interior.
On seven other counts, Ahmad Zahid was charged as Home Minister with obtaining for himself S$1.15m, RM3m, €15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company in connection with his official work.
He is accused of committing all offenses at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.