Bersatu Youth treasurer Rafiq Hakim Razali admitted to the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning that the order to “clear-kan” (dispose of) part of RM1 million was not the exact words used by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman back in 2020.
The star witness in Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s trial admitted in the High Court today that it was his interpretation that the Muar MP’s words were an instruction to him to “clear” RM1 million belonging to Bersatu Youth.
Cross-examined by Gobind Singh Deo, who is representing Syed Saddiq, former Bersatu Youth assistant treasurer Rafiq Hakim Razali said he didn’t remember the specific words used by the then Bersatu Youth chief and that he didn’t keep notes regarding the discussion said to have happened at the end of March 2020.
Gobind argued that to “clear” meant “to get rid of it”, but in this case, the RM1 million that was withdrawn was used for the youth wing’s programmes, and therefore, it was not for disposal.
Gobind: This money belonged to Armada (the youth wing); this money was withdrawn to assist with Armada’s programmes, correct? Why would you want to dispose of it then? Think about it. It doesn’t make sense, right?
Gobind: I’m asking you, that RM1 million which was to be used for the party, he wouldn’t have meant to “clear” it. He didn’t use those words. That’s only your understanding of it.
Gobind argued that when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) questioned Rafiq, they were wrong to give him the impression that the withdrawal of the money was in breach of Article 24.8 of the party’s constitution, when that specific article only touched on expenditure, not withdrawal.
In this regard, Gobind reiterated that Syed Saddiq’s order to withdraw the money, which was used for the party’s programmes, was not against the constitution. Rafiq agreed with this.
Gobind: “I put it to you, there was no such instruction to ‘clear’ the money, and that it was just your interpretation. The one who lodged the report about the missing RM250,000 was Syed Saddiq himself, so there’s nothing to hide.”
Rafiq had told deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin earlier during examination that Syed Saddiq’s instruction to withdraw RM1 million didn’t follow party procedure.
Wan Shaharuddin: Could you tell us the proper process to withdraw a large sum of money from the Armada account?
Rafiq: There should be a working paper and it has to be presented to the Armada exco first.
Wan Shaharuddin: Was there any proposal to withdraw the RM1 million?
Syed Saddiq is standing trial on four counts of CBT and money laundering. He is alleged to have misappropriated a total of RM1.12 million belonging to Bersatu.
Of the amount, RM120,000 was said to be party funds for the 2018 general election while RM1 million was allegedly withdrawn by him without the top leadership’s consent.
He has also pleaded not guilty to two charges of money laundering amounting to RM50,000 each.
The hearing before judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid continues. – FMT