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Malaysia's former deputy PM Zahid Hamidi arrives at anti-graft agency for questioning

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Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrived on Wednesday morning at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency for questioning.

[PUTRAJAYA] Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrived on Wednesday morning at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency for questioning.

He was summoned to give a statement over an alleged misappropriation of funds from his family-owned welfare foundation. This is the third time that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has summoned Mr Zahid to its headquarters for questioning by its officers, since the May 9 polls.

The Umno president, 65, arrived at the MACC at around 9.20am, donning a yellow batik shirt.

He smiled to reporters who had gathered at the building since morning.

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The MACC is looking into allegations that RM800,000 (S$267,000) of the funds of the foundation, Yayasan Akalbudi, was used to pay off Mr Zahid and his wife's credit card bills.

The settlements were made between 2014 and 2015.

Mr Zahid has said the payment made by the charity for the credit card spending was an error made by an aide, and that he has since settled the bill himself.

The Perak Member of Parliament was Malaysia's Home Minister in charge of the MACC prior to the historic May polls that ousted the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition.

On July 2, the MACC recorded Mr Zahid's statement over 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) on a purported meeting with a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family who is said to have donated money to former premier Najib Razak.

The following day (July 3), Mr Zahid was called in to assist in investigations into the family charity of which he is the chairman.

Yayasan Akalbudi, which does charitable work such as building mosques, tahfiz (Islamic) schools and orphanages, was set up by his family with personal donations from himself and his close friends.

Records showed the foundation was registered in 1997 and its role is to receive and administer funds to eradicate poverty.

THE STRAITS TIMES