'Justice should be impartial, irrespective of titles' - Syed Saddiq

“I am committed to seeking fair treatment and justice in court, just as I believe should be the case for any individual."

03 May 2024 07:30am
Syed Saddiq visited the Karangkraf Complex yesterday.
Syed Saddiq visited the Karangkraf Complex yesterday.

SHAH ALAM - Justice should be impartial and unbiased, regardless of titles or privileged backgrounds, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman says.

The former Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) president said this when asked to comment on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s recent bid to serve the remainder of his six-year sentence at home.

“Malaysia upholds the principles of democracy and the rule of law with utmost seriousness. These principles bind all Malaysians under one system, ensuring that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.

“Whether a person steals a can of Milo or holds titles like Datuk Seri or Tan Sri and even if he or she comes from a privileged family background, justice should be dispensed impartially and without bias.

“This principle holds true for me personally, and I am deeply aware of it especially because I am currently facing legal proceedings. While in court, I strongly oppose any special treatment based solely on my status as a YB (Yang Berkhidmat or Yang Berhormat), which would not be just.

“I am committed to seeking fair treatment and justice in court, just as I believe should be the case for any individual, including Datuk Seri Najib Razak,” he said when met at Karangkraf Complex here, yesterday.

The Muar MP also said that Najib has gone through multiple layers of the judicial process, and while he might not discuss in depth about Najib’s case, he stressed the importance of upholding the rule of law and respecting the judiciary's decisions and processes.

“Regardless of whether he (Najib) chooses to seek alternative legal avenues, he has the right to do so. However, it remains essential to consistently uphold the rule of law and due process, which every Malaysian citizen should expect.

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“Justice should be administered impartially, without distinction based on individuals' status, whether it is me, Datuk Seri Najib, Datuk Seri Anwar, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, or anyone else. The principle of justice must be applied fairly and equally to all,” he said.

When asked about public opinions and sentiments regarding former Najib’s appeal for house arrest, he considered whether this government would be affected or not to be more of a political question.

“Let us not overlook that this same government pledged reforms, vowed to combat corruption, and assured equitable treatment under the law. However, today's reality paints a starkly different picture.

“The very government that proclaimed its anti-corruption stance has now dropped numerous corruption charges and elevated individuals accused of corruption to high-ranking positions within the government.

Syed Saddiq said that such actions surpassed the conduct of previous governments whom they (the current government) accused of corruption.

“Major corruption scandals involving billions, purportedly worse than the 1MDB case, now seem to have been swept under the rug.

“This situation reflects poorly not only on the government but also on the nation, signalling a dangerous normalisation of corruption. It appears that pre-election anti-corruption rhetoric dissipates post-election when power is at stake.

“I urge people to send a resounding message to this government that enough is enough, before our country spirals further into decline,” he said.

Syed Saddiq also went on to provide updates on his own court case and mentioned that there had not been much progress since the decision was made and he had been inquiring about a date for quite some time now.

“Just to provide a brief update, after a case concludes and you prepare for an appeal, having the written judgement is crucial to understand the basis for the appeal.

“Unfortunately, we have not received the written judgment yet. Once we do, the appeal process can proceed accordingly,” he added.

According to him, the next case management session would be in May, possibly within the next two weeks.

“I will provide any updates as they become available. I am confident that the press will also be kept informed.

“I want to emphasise that from the day I was charged until now, I have not caused any delays in court proceedings.

“On the contrary, I have actively sought to expedite the process because I firmly believe in the fairness and integrity of our justice system,” he said.

Recently, it was reported that the Kuala Lumpur High Court has set June 5 to decide on a leave application by Najib to challenge the existence of an addendum order, purportedly issued with the consent of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, allowing the former prime minister to serve the remaining six years of his prison sentence under house arrest.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed in an affidavit in support of Najib’s legal challenge, the existence of an addendum order purportedly issued with the consent of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong allowing Najib to go under house arrest to serve the remaining sentence.

On Nov 9, 2023, Syed Saddiq was sentenced by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur to seven years in jail, fined RM10 million, and ordered to receive two strokes of the cane after being found guilty of four charges.

He was convicted of abetting the misappropriation of RM1 million from Armada's funds, as well as misappropriating RM120,000 from Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise's account.

Additionally, he faced charges under the Anti-Money Laundering Act for laundering money through transactions totalling RM100,000.

The High Court granted Syed Saddiq's request to postpone the execution of his sentence pending an appeal.

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