Former Malaysian Deputy PM Faces Corruption Charges

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is embroiled in several corruption scandals. (Image: via Wikimedia Commons)

The ex-deputy PM of Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, is currently embroiled in a series of corruption cases. In total, Zahid is facing 87 legal charges, which is the highest among all senior politicians from the former Barisan Nasional government.

The corruption charges

In the most recent case, Zahid was hit with 33 counts of receiving bribes from the operator of a visa application system. In 26 of these charges, Zahid allegedly received S$9.32 million (US$6.89 million) from Ultra Kirana, the only company allowed by the government to process and approve visa applications of Indians, Chinese, and other nationals through the Electronic Travel Registration and Information (eENTRI) system.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

“The money was believed to have been an inducement for him as then home minister to extend the company’s contract to operate the One Stop Centre in China and the overseas visa system. He also allegedly instructed the home ministry to retain the contract to supply the integrated visa system to the same company,” according to Channel News Asia. As far as the remaining 7 of the 33 charges are concerned, Zahid is accused of collecting over S$250,000 (US$184,801) from a company.

Najib Razak is caught up in money laundering charges.
Najib Razak is caught up in money laundering charges. (Image: via Wikimedia Commons)

The court granted Zahid bail on the surety of RM500,000 and impounded his passport. Previously, the ex-minister pleaded not guilty to 47 charges of corruption, money laundering, and criminal breach of trust. An additional 7 charges were slapped on account of accepting bribes to the tune of S$4.24 million (US$3.13 million) from a firm, once again through the overseas visa system.

The new commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Latheefa Koya, was very clear about cracking down on corruption cases involving government officials. “This is not a common corruption case because it involves the country’s leaders at the time of the case. The amount involved is also very high so this case is of public interest… We will let the government take action against the company (Ultra Kirana),” she said in a statement (Radio Free Asia).

The former prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, is also caught up in scandals and has been charged with 42 counts of money laundering and corruption. His wife, Rosmah Mansor, is facing 20 criminal charges including failure to declare her income and money laundering. Najib’s role in plundering money from the 1MDB state fund played a huge role in his defeat in the recent elections. The ex-PM has been on trial since April this year.

Jim Yong Kim believed corruption to be the number one problem of Malaysia.
Jim Yong Kim believed corruption to be the number one problem in Malaysia. (Image: MONUSCO via Wikimedia Commons)

Malaysia’s corruption problem

In 2013, the World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim, declared corruption as the number one problem facing Malaysia. And last year, the former MACC commissioner, Datuk Seri Shukri Abdull, admitted that the situation has not changed much in the country.

“When people ask what is the level of corruption, others normally do not want to give an accurate answer… For me, it is at a worrying level. The fact is in 2014, Malaysia’s score in the Corruption Perception Index was 52… It is a barely passable score, like a C-grade… In 2015, our score reduced to 50. In 2016, it went down to 49 and in 2017, we scored 47. This is worrying if you ask me… Around last year, we were infamously known in the world as a kleptocratic nation… We were not known as a country with integrity and this is shameful,” he said in a statement (The Star).

The current government, led by Mahathir Mohamad, has promised to root out graft. The appointment of Latheefa Koya as the latest head of MACC was done so as to fight corruption through Extraordinary Operating Procedures (EOP).   

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Statues of Qin Hui and Lady Wang at the Yue Fei Temple.

Why Qin Hui and His Wife Became the Most Hated Couple in China’s History

Qin Hui (1090-1155) and his wife, Lady Wang, were the most hated couple in China ...

Childhood obesity.

Fostering an Obese-Free Environment for Children

Childhood obesity is a medical condition where your child’s weight is above the recommended body ...

China's white paper protests.

The Silent Protest: How Is It in China and Hong Kong?

Comparing one’s current circumstances to some standard — whether that norm is one’s history, the ...

Dripping water.

Drip, Drip, Drip. Why is my Leaking Tap Keeping me Awake at Night?

People describe the sound of a dripping tap in the middle of the night as ...

Silhouette of a group of zombies walking under the full moon.

Zombies Sleep Experiment

Insomnia appears to be a common phenomenon in the 21st century. Various studies around the ...

A tusked elephant.

11 Elephants Plunge to Their Deaths in Thailand

In a tragic accident, 11 elephants recently died at Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park after ...

War elephants.

How Pigs Defeated Elephants in Battle

This is the story of how pigs defeated elephants in battles. We know that animals ...

Part of the Devon fatberg.

Scientists Reveal What the Monstrous Devon Fatberg Contained

A fatberg refers to a semi-solid mass of sewer waste that is usually a combination ...

Two brothers walking.

Uyghur Twins Risk Being Deported From Russia

Two Uyghur twins, 23-year-old Shahrizat and Shahdiyar Shavkat, who currently live in Russia, are at ...

Send this to a friend