Politicial Bribes

Secret political bribes in exchange for contracts is corruption!

Secret political bribes in exchange for contracts is corruption!

The High Court here was told today that money given by Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) to former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was a political donation.

It was not for bribery purposes, said former UKSB manager Harry Lee Vui Khun during cross-examination of lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh, representing Ahmad Zahid in the trial of the bribery case of the Foreign Visa System (VLN).

Yesterday, Lee told the court that the UKSB made a monthly cash payment in Singapore dollars (SGD) to Ahmad Zahid from 2014 to 2018 for the Overseas Visa System (VLN) contract.

Meanwhile, questioned by lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, also representing Ahmad Zahid, whether the political donation was for UMNO, the witness said that to his knowledge it was for the government of the country. ‘era.

Ahmad Zahid, 69, faces 33 charges of taking bribes worth SG$13.56million from the UKSB for himself as Home Secretary for to extend the company’s contract as the operator of the China OSC service and supply VLN system as well as to maintain the contractual agreement to supply the integrated VLN system to the same company by KDN.

Our comment

The apologies offered by some of Malaysia’s highest political figures and their defenders in court are sometimes so staggering that one fears there are people out there willing to believe them.

This witness, in testimony intended to exculpate Zahid Hamidi of accepting bribes for contracts, explains in detail the essence of a corrupt transaction, explaining how he made secret monthly payments to the Minister of ‘Interior of the time (now fittingly the leader of UMNO) in return for a lucrative contract to his company.

Apparently, he had admitted to anti-corruption investigators that he used to drive to Zahid’s residence with the money in a bag to be regularly handed over to the then Deputy Prime Minister.

Yet this self-confessed scammer is now lecturing in court that because the money was allegedly offered and received in the name of the political party UMNO (in fact, evidence shows it was used for its own purposes of Zahid), the transactions were not corrupted!

The phrase “only in Malaysia” sadly comes to mind that anyone thinks they can get away with such an argument and it’s okay to secretly bribe political parties for favors, but not politicians themselves…. even if you pay the politician cash in the name of a party donation.

Of course, that’s how Musa Aman was first released after Hong Kong authorities caught his minion with a $19 million bag he was smuggling through the airport in cash on the way to his Swiss bank accounts – namely bribe money for timber contracts.

Around this time, in 2012, UMNO authorities simply arranged for it to be considered a “political donation” and therefore classified as excused.

The Malaysian public is not fooled. Musa Aman was eventually prosecuted for this and other crimes under the newly elected government. It was only after the Sheraton coup restored UMNO to power that prosecutors again let Musa go (he is apparently preparing for his planned political comeback).

Zahid, unfortunately for him, is a little further in his steps. And this apology now presented in court is unlikely to impress the judges any more than the jaded Malaysian public.