Syed Saddiq’s conviction a form of intimidation – Pas MP

09 Dec 2023 08:00am
Syed Saddiq - FILE PIX
Syed Saddiq - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR – Pendang Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Awang Hashim says the conviction of Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman seems like a form of intimidation for withdrawing his support from the Unity Government.

Last month, the former Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) President was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment, a RM10 million fine and two strokes of the cane for all charges of abetting in criminal breach of trust (CBT), misappropriation of funds and money laundering.

“It seems like a form of intimidation because when Syed Saddiq supported the government, there was nothing (charges) against him but when he refused to support the government, he gets this.

“I think it is unfair, someone else has 47 cases amounting billions but none of it was charged but for Syed Saddiq, (he has) only two cases but he is being whipped, RM10 million fine and jail,” he said during a recent interview with Sinar Daily.

The former deputy human resource minister pointed out that Syed Saddiq was the first MP to be caned as it was always fine or jail for cases similar to his.

“Usually whipping sentence are for cases like sodomy or rape but for criminal breach of trust or corruption, this is the first time,” he said, stating although he did not want to question the court's decision, it was difficult for the public not to feel a certain way towards the outcome.

Awang, who is a Central Pas Committee member, is not the first to voice thoughts on the Youth leader. Recently, Syed Saddiq's former comrade Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Armada Youth Chief Wan Ahmad Fayshal Wan Ahmad Kamal also spoke out recently, not only expressing his sympathy to his predecessor but also described him as as "Brave Iron" and special friend.

Syed Saddiq’s sentence was handed down by High Court judge Justice Azhar Abdul Hamid on Nov 9 who had found him guilty on all the charges he was facing.

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The former youth and sports minister was charged with abetting former Armada assistant treasurer Rafiq Hakim Razali, who was entrusted with RM1 million of Armada's funds, to commit a criminal breach of trust by misappropriating the funds.

The offence was allegedly committed at CIMB Bank Bhd, Menara CIMB KL Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2 here on March 6, 2020, and the charge was framed under Section 406 of the Penal Code which is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, and liable to whipping and a fine, upon conviction.

On the second charge, he was accused of misappropriating RM120,000 from Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise’s Maybank Islamic Bhd account by making Rafiq dispose of the money.

Syed Saddiq allegedly committed the offence at Malayan Banking Bhd, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya here between April 8 and 21, 2018, and the charge was framed under Section 403 of the Penal Code, punishable by up to five years imprisonment, and liable to whipping and a fine, upon conviction.

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

The charges were framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and liable to a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of an unlawful activity, upon conviction.

Following his conviction, Syed Saddiq stepped down as Muda president with immediate effect, but retains his position as MP as he has applied for a stay of execution pending an appeal.