Friday, 14 Dec 2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's political secretary has been implicated in corruption charges against Tan Sri Isa Abdul Samad.
Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, who was Isa's former special officer, was mentioned in nine out of the 10 corruption charges levelled against the former Felda chairman.
On May 30, Muhammad Zahid was appointed as Dr Mahathir's political secretary.
According to the charge sheet, Zahid acted the middleman between Gagasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd director Ikhwan Zaidel and Isa.
Isa was accused of receiving RM3.09mil in bribes over Felda's purchase of a hotel in Kuching, Sarawak.
The bribes were allegedly meant to facilitate Felda's purchase of the Merdeka Hotel & Suites there.
The offences were allegedly committed between July 21, 2014 and Dec 11, 2015.
It was previously reported that Muhammad Zahid was arrested by the MACC in August 2017 over the hotel deal and was remanded for eight days.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today defended his political secretary, Muhammad Zahid Arip, whose name is mentioned in corruption charges against former Felda chairman Isa Samad.
Isa, the former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar, had been charged with nine counts of accepting bribes amounting to RM3 million in connection with the hotel purchase in Sarawak for RM160 million.
Zahid, who is Isa’s former special officer, had allegedly collected the amounts on the latter’s behalf.
In response to this, Mahathir said at this juncture, this was a mere accusation.
「It is just an accusation. Whether it is true or not, we do not know.
「If he is convicted of a crime, then no lah,」 he said in response to whether Zahid is still serving as his political secretary.
Isa had claimed trial at the Sessions Court today to committing criminal breach of trust (CBT) in the purchase of a hotel in Sarawak for RM160 million, which was allegedly above market value.