Car dealer, companies commission assistant registrar, Islamic foundation officer testify on Day 1 of Baling MP Abdul Azeez’s corruption and money laundering trial

Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex August 19, 2020. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex August 19, 2020. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 ― Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, accused of corruption and money laundering, was a picture of calm in the dock on the first day of his trial in the High Court.

The bribes were said to have been given to the Umno Supreme Council member by one Mohamad Redzuan, which is listed as a director of Menuju Asas on Bursa Malaysia.

Details revealed in court today were in most part related to the registrations of four companies, namely Menuju Asas Sdn Bhd, the company that is said to have benefited as a result of alleged bribes going the direction of Abdul Azeez.

Other companies mentioned today included Azman Azeez Properties Sdn Bhd, Azeera Management Consultants Sdn Bhd, and Azeera Properties Sdn Bhd.

The prosecution called three witnesses today: Companies Commission of Malaysia assistant registrar Muhamad Akmaludin Abdullah, Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation’s (Yapeim) legal and secretariat division head Adawiah [email protected] Samad, and car dealer Zagma Sdn Bhd’s sales manager Yap Boon Seong.

Muhamad Akmaludin was there to verify the registration of all the companies mentioned in court today.

He also confirmed directors and shareholders lists of Azman Azeez Properties, Azeera Management Consultants, and Azeera Properties, which consistently included the name of the accused listed as both a director and shareholders.

Other names included within these three company’s details were Abdul Azeez’s wife Datin Khadijah Mohd Noor, and his children Mohd Khairul Anwar, Mohd Khairul Azman, Khaleeda Azwa and Khaleeda Azeera.

It was also revealed that Abdul Azeez and his wife were the bulk shareholders of these three companies with an accumulative tally of more than three million share units under their name.

Yapeim’s Adawiah testimony provided an inside look at how Azeera Management Consultants attempted to become the Islamic agency’s official negotiators and appointed consultants in 2006.

She told the court that Yapiem currently has around 20 companies listed as appointed consultants functioning in a similar role as Azeera Management Consultants.

Car dealer Yap told the court today that Abdul Azeez paid RM405,000 a Toyota Vellfire in 2012.

Despite the vehicle and a bank loan being registered under the politician’s name, Yap told the court how he mostly dealt with one “Datuk Mohammad Redzuan”.

The car dealer also testified that Redzuan settled the RM10,000 down payment and a sum of RM112,929.60 needed to pay for the car using Maybank and Affin Bank cheques, the second cheque coming from Menuju Asas.

“Datuk Redzuan instructed that put the name ‘Datuk Abdul Azeez bin Abdul Rahim’ in the space labelled ‘Received from’,” he added, referring to the proof of receipt issued following the payment.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nik Haslinie Hashim led the prosecution and M. Athimulan headed Abdul Azeez’s defence.

In January 2019, Abdul Azeez, 53 was slapped with three charges for allegedly receiving bribes totalling RM5.2 million in connection with road projects in Perak and Kedah, as well as nine charges of money laundering, involving almost RM140 million.

His brother Datuk Abdul Latif, 62, is accused of abetting Abdul Azeez.

Abdul Azeez is accused of committing the bribery offences at the CIMB Bank branch at Menara UAB, Jalan Tun Perak, here on Dec 8, 2010, and at Affin Bank Berhad, Setiawalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong, in Petaling, Selangor, on June 13, 2017 and April 10, 2018.

He is accused of committing the money laundering offences in the Klang Valley area between March 8, 2010 and August 30, 2018.

The charges have been brought under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

The trial is set to continue on September 7.

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