Amid the whopping 45 corruption, money laundering and criminal charges against Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today, eight stand out for having happened while he was in government and in charge of the Home Ministry.
The former deputy prime minister from July 2015 to May 2018 was charged with receiving a total of RM21.25 million in bribes in return for projects given out to private companies while he was home minister.
The projects range from My EG Services Berhad projects, Malaysian passports and services for migrant workers seeking to enter Malaysia — which are either linked to the Home Ministry or falls under its purview.
Ahmad Zahid, now the Opposition leader after the Barisan Nasional was defeated in the May 9 general election, is accused of committing these eight corruption offences between July 2016 and March 2018.
Zahid was home minister from May 2013 to May 2018, with his ministry also overseeing the Immigration Department.
The first three of the eight corruption charges are over Zahid’s alleged receipt as then home minister of RM13.25 million in bribes from the company Mastoro Kenny IT Consultant & Services via 24 cheques.
The bribes were allegedly in return for Zahid helping the company to obtain MyEG projects that were being handled by the Home Ministry.
The third and fourth charges are over Zahid allegedly receiving as home minister a total of RM6 million in bribes from Data Sonic Group Berhad’s director Chew Ben Ben via two cheques.
The bribes allegedly resulted in the appointment of Data Sonic Technologies Sdn Bhd to implement the Immigration Department’s purchase of an additional 12.5 million chips for Malaysia’s passports.
The project to supply the chips for the biodata page of Malaysia’s polycarbonate passports was obtained through direct negotiations between the Home Ministry and Data Sonic Technologies, the charges allege.
Migrant worker services
As for the remaining three of the eight corruption charges, Zahid was accused of receiving — again as home minister — a total of RM2 million in bribes from Syarikat Profound Radiance Sdn Bhd’s director Azlan Shah Jaffril.
The charges alleged that the bribes resulted in Zahid appointing the company as the operator of a One Stop Centre (OSC) in Pakistan and Nepal.
The company has been named in a report on the controversial collection of high fees from migrant workers who wanted to work in Malaysia.
All eight corruption charges were brought under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 which covers the offence of accepting gratification.
These are all punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law with a maximum 20-year jail term, and a fine of either RM10,000 or five times the amount of the bribe, whichever is higher.
The eight corruption charges are on top of 10 criminal breach of trust charges involving over RM20.8 million of funds said to belong to Zahid’s family-owned charity foundation Yayasan Akalbudi, and an additional 27 charges of money-laundering RM72 million.