KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi always pays up for construction projects as promised, which is why a construction company doing work in Bagan Datuk, Perak on his instructions typically starts work without even collecting deposits from him, the High Court heard today.

Contractor Marlin Ahmad, 50, said this while testifying as the 13th defence witness in Zahid's trial, where the latter is accused of dishonestly misappropriating his charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi's funds.

Marlin, who used to work in his late brother Sanusi Ahmad's construction company Sutida Enterprise as a project site supervisor for over 20 years, said he knows that almost all his brother's projects were carried out since 1999 under instructions from Zahid.

Marlin claimed that his late brother Sanusi would usually start construction work after receiving instructions from Zahid without asking for any deposits.


“This is because, Datuk Seri Zahid is a person who always fulfils promises and will pay for the work done by my brother," he said, but later told deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar that he heard of this from Sanusi and does not have direct knowledge of it.

Marlin also claimed that he knows that Zahid had fully paid for all the work done by his late brother Sanusi on the politician's instructions, saying: “My late brother also told that sometimes, Datuk Seri Zahid will pay extra to him.” Marlin again told Dusuki that he does not have direct knowledge of this matter and it was what Sanusi told him.

Marlin said Sutida Enterprise — which was founded by Sanusi — had around seven to eight workers at construction sites including him, with his job being the supervising and monitoring of each construction.


Marlin said he knows the cost of projects, as he is also in charge of ordering and buying construction supplies from hardware stores to be sent to the construction site.

Marlin said he was involved in a list of 33 projects carried out by Sutida Enterprise for construction or repair work in Bagan Datuk, saying he only recalled the cost for 26 of the projects. Malay Mail's calculations show that the cost for the 26 projects stated by Marlin came up to RM4,327,444 or over RM4.3 million.

Asked by Dusuki, Marlin said he obtained this list of 33 projects from Sanusi and does not have direct knowledge or documents on them as it was handled by his brother, while he himself handled the work site.

Marlin later told Zahid's lawyer Aiman Abdul Rahman that he himself dealt with workers, items and construction at the construction site for the projects he had listed.

The project list included multiple mosques and suraus, an orphanage, two religious schools and houses for the needy, such as RM1,144,444 for the orphanage Rumah Anak Yatim Hamidiyah, RM600,000 (Masjid Seri Perkasa), RM450,000 (Masjid Al Quro’ Bagan Datuk), RM270,000 (Surau Parit 7 Sungai Sumun Pekan), and RM50,000 (Surau Kg Parit 25 Darat).

“I and my late brother know that when Datuk Seri Zahid donates or gives contributions, he does not like for that matter to be known by others. Therefore, each construction or work that my brother's company does has never put up any notice or signboard that that place results from Datuk Seri Zahid's donation,” Marlin said.

According to Marlin, Sanusi died of cancer in 2015.

Marlin, who had also been working at his own construction firm Artant Enterprise since 1999 at the same time as his late brother's firm, said he is currently working on the Sekolah Menengah Imtiaz Tuminah Hamidi project in Bagan Datuk for Zahid. Marlin said this school is at the same site as the Rumah Anak Yatim Hamidiyah.

Atan Sampol, who was the former chairman of Masjid Seri Perkasa, testified as the 14th prosecution witness by claiming that Sanusi had told him that Zahid had fully funded the mosque's construction costs of around RM600,000.

Surau An Nur Parit 25 Darat's chairman Mokhtar Tukol testified as the 15th prosecution witness by claiming that Zahid had fully paid the RM50,000 construction costs for the surau built by Sanusi and completed in 2001. Mokhtar however said he did not have direct knowledge about this payment as it was between Zahid and Sanusi directly.

Zahid, who is also Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman, is facing 47 charges in this trial.

The 47 charges are namely, 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to over RM31 million of Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges of over RM21.25 million in alleged bribes.

Zahid's trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes on September 4.

The other hearing dates scheduled for the trial are September 5 to 7, October 31, November 1, November 17, November 20 to 24, November 27 to 29, December 4 to 7 and December 11 to 15.