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Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya and her deputy Datuk Seri Azam Baki (left) was present at the Sessions Court today as Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was charged with graft totaling RM47 million. - NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya was present at the Sessions Court today as Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was charged with graft totaling RM47 million.

Her presence, she said, was because the commission viewed the case as a “serious one” as it concerned someone who was the deputy prime minister at the time the offences were allegedly committed.

She said Zahid was facing 40 new charges in relation to the Overseas Visa (VLN) system.

The Umno president was charged with seven counts of graft totaling S$4.24 million involving the VLN system. He is expected to face another 33 charges in Shah Alam tomorrow.

Zahid claimed trial to the charges.

“I came today on behalf of MACC to witness the charging (of Zahid). This is a serious matter and it's not just a normal corruption case as it involves a leader of high rank when the offences occurred.

“It also involves a big amount which gives an impact to the public's interest. So we are here to make sure everything runs smoothly,” said Latheefa.

Also present at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex was her deputy, Datuk Seri Azam Baki.

Asked about Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd, the company implicated in Zahid’s charges, Latheefa declined comment.

“Let us leave it to the government. As far as we are concerned right now is that we need to prove that this case happened and to bring the accused to face the court,” she said when met outside the court after the proceedings.

According to the charge sheet, Zahid was alleged to have received two payments of S$300,000, another two of S$1.04 million and three of S$520,000 from Ultra Kirana.

Zahid, as home minister at the time, was alleged to have receive the money as an inducement for him to extend Ultra Kirana’s contract to manage the one-stop centre in China and the VLN system.

He allegedly committed the offence at the deputy prime minister’s official residence at Seri Satria in Putrajaya between March 28, 2017, and March 2, 2018.

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