Syed Saddiq: I was taken to court because I did not support Muhyiddin

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Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman told the High Court that he was taken to court because he did not support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister at the time.

The former Bersatu youth (Armada) chief said a request put to him to support Muhyiddin to avoid being charged in court was ‘wrong’.

Syed Saddiq said this during re-examination by his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo on the second day (Feb 23) of the proceedings to defend himself on four charges of abetting criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of property and money laundering.

Gobind: What do you mean when saying it’s something ‘wrong’?

Hari Anggara

Syed Saddiq: It’s the request to support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (as prime minister), even though I have nothing personal against him (Muhyiddin) My Lord, but if that (act of supporting Muhyiddin) will stop the prosecution, it is wrong. This was informed (to me) by the investigating officer who investigated me and raided my house.

“He (investigating officer) was with me every day when I was being questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The investigating officer said, MACC is a ‘political tool’ whenever the government changes and I am a victim of political persecution. That is not right and I hope this is corrected,” he said.

Gobind: If you did not support Tan Sri Muhyiddin (at the time), you will be prosecuted, that is what you are saying? As far as you are concerned that is wrong?

Syed Saddiq: Yes My Lord, that is wrong.

At Wednesday (Feb 22)’s proceedings, lawyer Haijan Omar referred Syed Saddiq to a transcript of an audio recording that allegedly contained a conversation between the latter and a senior MACC official known as Ihsan.

In the transcript, Ihsan is said to be trying to persuade Syed Saddiq to support Muhyiddin, apart from informing him that the MACC becomes a ‘tool’ whenever there is a change of government.

Answering a question from Gobind, the former youth and sports minister said his testimony in court was true and not an afterthought.

Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq agreed with DPP Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin that former Bersatu Armada assistant treasurer Rafiq Hakim Razali had transferred RM120,000 from a Maybank account in the name of Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise (ABBE) to his (Syed Saddiq’s) Maybank account.

Asked by Wan Shaharuddin on whether it was Rafiq Hakim who transferred the money because he (Rafiq Hakim) was the account owner of ABBE, Syed Saddiq replied, “Correct”.

The Muda president also agreed that he did not show any expense receipts for his 14th General Election (GE14) campaign in the Muar parliamentary constituency to Rafiq Hakim and did not inform the latter that the RM120,000 was a reimbursement for the campaign expenses.

When asked by Gobind why he did not show the receipts or inform Rafiq Hakim about the expenses for the GE14 campaign, Syed Saddig said Rafiq Hakim was not involved in his campaign and had only lent his account to deposit the funds (RM120,000).

Syed Saddiq, 30, was charged as the then Bersatu Youth wing or Armada chief of abetting Rafiq Hakim, who was entrusted with RM1 million in funds belonging to the wing, to commit a criminal breach of trust by misappropriating the funds at CIMB Bank Bhd, Menara CIMB KL Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2 here on March 6, 2020.

The native of Johor Baru was also charged with misappropriating RM120,000 from the Maybank Islamic Bhd account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise 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.

The trial before Judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid continues Friday (Feb 24).