KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today suggested it is not for him to ask a businessman donor if the funds for a RM250,000 cheque originated from stolen money or was a loan to Ahmad Zahid’s younger brother, and that he had just considered it to be a donation.

Testifying in his own defence in a corruption trial, Ahmad Zahid confirmed having received a RM250,000 cheque in 2016 from businessman Junaith Asharab Md Shariff, and that this was when Ahmad Zahid was still the home minister and deputy prime minister.

Ahmad Zahid confirmed he had given this RM250,000 cheque to lawyer Muralidharan Balan Pillai of the law firm Lewis & Co, and that the cheque was then banked into Lewis & Co’s client account. Ahmad Zahid had previously claimed that the law firm held money on trust for his charitable organisation Yayasan Akalbudi.

Ahmad Zahid confirmed the RM250,000 cheque had named Lewis & Co as the recipient and did not name his younger brother’s name Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi, while also confirming that Lewis & Co has no links to Nasaee.


Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Afif Ali suggested that no documents were produced in court throughout the entire trial to show any links between the RM250,000 cheque and Nasaee.

Ahmad Zahid replied that he did not know but went on to cite Junaith’s testimony in saying that the RM250,000 was a repayment of money Nasaee had borrowed from the businessman.

When Mohd Afif suggested that Ahmad Zahid does not have any record or documents to show the RM250,000 is a loan, Ahmad Zahid replied: “This is outside of my knowledge — the loan between my brother and Junaith.”


Ahmad Zahid continued to say it was beyond his knowledge when asked to confirm that there are no documents which shows the RM250,000 cheque to be a loan between Junaith and Nasaee and continued to point on Junaith’s testimony in court.

Ahmad Zahid also said he was uncertain if Junaith had told him the RM250,000 cheque was either a loan or repayment of loan by Nasaee when handing him the cheque.

Mohd Afif then suggested that there was no Yayasan Akalbudi documents that could show Lewis & Co’s client account would be receiving money, which was borrowed by Nasaee, but Ahmad Zahid suggested this purported loan was a matter between his younger brother and the donor businessman, and that there was no need for him to question the decision to donate such funds.

“The one who gave the loan was Junaith and the one who repaid is my brother; it is up to him if he wants to donate to Lewis & Co. The loan money, wants to be donated to who. Why question me, it is between two persons,” he said.

Afif then suggested that the intention for the RM250,000 cheque was as “donation” to Ahmad Zahid himself when Junaith handed him the cheque, with Ahmad Zahid then replying he considered it as a donation as Junaith does make such donations.

“I treat it as donation, I cannot ask where donation is from, whether it is loan money or stolen money, I don’t know,” he said when indicating he does not question the source of the purported donations.

Previously, Ahmad Zahid had also justified two donors where their RM7 million purported donation originated from, as he cited the need to give the benefit of doubt and that it would be funny to ask them if the donations came from legal or illegal sources.

Businessman Junaith Asharab Md Shariff is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court February 19, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Businessman Junaith Asharab Md Shariff is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court February 19, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

When suggested that Lewis & Co’s client account holding money for Yayasan Akalbudi is not a place where money repaid by Nasaee for a loan should be placed, Ahmad Zahid today stressed that money could be banked in as Junaith’s personal donation and that it was outside his knowledge.

Ahmad Zahid disagreed with the suggestion that the RM250,000 cheque was an inducement to ensure that he helps Junaith obtain MyEG Services Berhad projects linked with the Home Ministry.

Instead, Ahmad Zahid reiterated that MyEG is not under the Home Ministry’s control and was not under his control or responsibilities, also saying that Home Ministry matters may make up up to 10 per cent of MyEG’s business as MyEG handles matters in relation to many ministries and many agencies.

“10 per cent but MyEG is not under me directly or indirectly, and MyEG never outsourced any businesses to any individuals or companies, especially those related with works in the Home Ministry. How would I have the power to ask MyEG to give businesses to others? They never outsourced Home Ministry activities or businesses,” he said.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid asserted: “MyEG never outsourced its business with the Home Ministry to anyone, so why am I accused of taking money because of wanting to help?”

In this trial, Ahmad Zahid is facing 47 charges, namely 12 of them for criminal breach of trust in relation to more than RM31 million of charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges over RM21.25 million of alleged bribes.

Out of the eight corruption charges, three of the charges is in relation to RM13.25 million in 24 cheques which Ahmad Zahid had allegedly received as bribes from Junaith as inducement to allegedly help obtain MyEG projects.

Ahmad Zahid agreed that Junaith had made a big donation to Yayasan Akalbudi, with Mohd Afif then suggested that Ahmad Zahid had felt “syukur dan gembira” (grateful and happy) with the big donation since he wanted to build a tahfiz school and do charity in Bagan Datuk and Malaysia.

But Ahmad Zahid brushed this aside by replying: “Yang Arif, as the donation was not to me personally, that donation was for charity and religious purposes, I don’t have to be happy or not. If it is true he receives ‘pahala’ (divine reward), that is up to him.”

Asked what he felt and whether he would not be happy when someone donates, Ahmad Zahid said he just felt normal and that the donation was not for him, noting: “Not for me. For me, I don’t have to be happy, just thank you.”

Asked if he had no feeling although the donation would help his charitable purposes, Ahmad Zahid said: “Yang Arif, the charity is not for me personally. It’s for religious purposes. Why should I be happy? It’s between him and Allah.”

Agreeing that Junaith’s donation greatly helped in Yayasan Akalbudi’s charitable activities, Ahmad Zahid however denied that Junaith had given the money to him — who was then a home minister and deputy prime minister — with the hopes of obtaining something from him or to get projects.

Ahmad Zahid said Junaith had “not even once” asked him for something after giving the donations, also stressing that he had “never, never ever” offered anything to Junaith.

The prosecution today completed its seven days of cross-examination of Ahmad Zahid.

The trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes next Monday, with Ahmad Zahid’s lawyers to re-examine him.