Charges against me were politically motivated - Syed Saddiq

22 Feb 2023 10:11pm
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex. - FILE PIX
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex. - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - Muar Member of Parliament Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman told the High Court here today that the charges brought against him were politically motivated.

Syed Saddiq, 30, said evidence that was in his favour was hidden by the prosecution and his friends were also threatened to give statements as desired by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"The threats stopped when one of my friends, Siti Nurul Hidayah issued a press statement stating that she was threatened by MACC officers during the interrogation process and my other friends involved in the investigation lodged a police report,” he said.

Syed Saddiq said this when reading out his witness statement on the first day of proceedings in his defence against four charges of abetting criminal breach of trust (CBT), misappropriation of assets and money laundering.

The former Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada) chief said had written a letter to Tan Sri Abu Kassim, who was the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) director-general at the time, dated June 5, 2020, regarding the threats against his friends.

"I also went to the police to lodge a complaint. I was informed that the authorities will look into and investigate this matter, but there have been no updates after the meeting,” he said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Haijan Omar representing Syed Saddiq referred to his client a transcript of an audio recording that allegedly contained a conversation between Syed Saddiq and a senior MACC official known as Ihsan.

In the audio recording, Ihsan is said to be coaxing Syed Saddiq to support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin because it was the former Prime Minister who had brought him into Bersatu and he still cared for him.

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Ihsan also informed Syed Saddiq that the MACC was being used as a ‘tool’ when there was a change of government.

When asked by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin if Syed Saddiq could vouch that the voice in the audio was Ihsan’s, the accused replied in the affirmative.

In the meantime, the former Youth and Sports Minister said the fund collection amounting to RM120,000 which was deposited into his Maybank account belonged to him, not Armada or Bersatu Syed Saddiq said the funds raised during the Majlis Makan Amal Muo in Muar and the Fund-Raising Battle for Johor in Ampang, Selangor on April 7 and April 8, 2018, were to cover his campaign expenses as a candidate for the Muar parliamentary constituency in the 14th General Election (GE14), and he did not receive any financial assistance from Armada or Bersatu to hold the two fundraising events.

According to Syed Saddiq, throughout the GE14 campaigning period, he spent RM171,675 of which RM120,000 of the amount was counted as the money obtained from the fundraising events.

"Therefore, the RM120,000 in my Maybank account is mine because I replaced the money from the fundraising programmes with my savings that I had spent on my personal campaign during GE14,” he said.

The Johor Bahru-born Syed Saddiq was charged as the then Bersatu Youth wing or Armada chief, who was entrusted with control of its funds, with abetting Rafiq Hakim with CBT of RM1 million in funds belonging to the wing at CIMB Bank Bhd, Menara CIMB KL Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2 here on March 6, 2020.

The MUDA president was also charged with misusing RM120,000 from the Maybank Islamic Bhd account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise, for himself by causing Rafiq Hakim to dispose of the money at Malayan Banking Bhd, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya here between April 8, and 21, 2018.

He also faces two counts of engaging in money-laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000 each believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic Bhd account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account at a bank in Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Baru, on June 16 and 19, 2018.

Hearing before Justice Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid continues tomorrow - BERNAMA