SINGAPORE (July 3): Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, today said that he has made “an honest mistake” in using charity funds to pay credit card debts that he and his wife had accrued.

In a seven-and-a-half-hour interview with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) earlier today, Zahid said that his aide took RM800,000 ($270,600) from Yayasan Akal Budi, the welfare foundation owned by his family, instead of a cheque, to settle the credit card debts.

“It was an honest mistake. I prepared an invoice bill to the officer to prepare the payment for the credit cards.”

“But instead of issuing a cheque from my personal account, the officer mistakenly used the charity fund money instead,” he said.

However, Zahid has said that he has used his personal money to pay back the charity fund.

“I hope this clears the air and closes the door on any negative perception, especially now that I’ve won the Umno presidential election.”

“I’m in fact the biggest donor to this charity foundation owned by my family, which runs religious schools and welfare homes,” he added.

While Zahid was being questioned with the MACC today, ex prime minister Najib was arrested from his home and will spend the night in lockup before being brought to court tomorrow by the MACC tomorrow morning.

See: Ex Malaysian PM Najib arrested in 1MDB probe

At the same time, MACC was also interviewing Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, who is also the co-founder of Red Granite Pictures. It has been alleged that the production company funded movie productions with money siphoned from 1MDB.

See: MACC summons 'Wolf of Wall Street' producer for 1MDB probe