Syed Saddiq had reminded his parents to be careful as MACC would “go after them”.
Syed Abdul Rahman Abdullah Alsagoff, 69, and Sharifah Mahani Syed Abdul Aziz, 62, told the High Court today that the MACC officers had questioned them from morning to night on several occasions and had also suggested to them to tell Syed Saddiq to support the government of the day so they would not be harassed.
Abdul Rahman said his son had strong principles and was not keen to support Muhyiddin and he had an inkling that the powers in government at the time would make an effort to force his hand.
Gobind: Was Syed Saddiq forced to support Muhyiddin and did you feel if he didn’t the family members would be threatened?
Syed Abdul Rahman: Yes. Muhyiddin had a thin majority and I felt they would betray my son as he has strong principles and high integrity and I also advised him not to (support Muhyiddin’s government). I told him to be honest till the end and don’t give in.
This was corroborated by his wife Sharifah during the cross-examination.
Gobind: When you were being questioned at MACC, were you told anything regarding to the government?
Sharifah: I can’t forget one thing they said that made me sad. They said wouldn’t it be better if I told my son to support the government of the day instead, so my husband and my family won’t be harassed by them anymore. This part I cannot forget.
Gobind: What did you think they meant by that?
Sharifah: I feel my son was a victim of politics because he didn’t give in to their demands. Anytime something important like a vote or matters that needed MPs’ support he would warn us to be careful as the authorities would likely target us.
Gobind: So, in this case Syed Saddiq did tell you that he is being pressured to support Muhyiddin?
Sharifah: Yes, that’s true.
Sharifah said the officers had asked her about her finances as far back as 2016 nit-picking every detail she spent in those years. She said they used scare tactics against her as being a teacher she had supplemented her meagre income with tuition classes.
She said the officers had caused her so much stress that her cancer returned for the second time in July 2020.
“I was scared when they said things like I needed to declare taxes on the tuition fees. It was like trying to scare me into not getting my pension. This after serving for 38 years.
“Not only that they also drove to Johor Bharu to find my other kids and question them. They were just starting to enter the workforce and most of their possessions were from loans so that sort of thing was scary to see and it’s never happened before to us,” she added.
Syed Saddiq faces four charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), misappropriation of funds and money laundering of RM1 million belonging to Bersatu’s youth wing, Armada. Today is the first day of the trial of the Muda president and Muar MP.
Sharifah said Syed Saddiq had reminded her and her husband, Syed Abdul Rahman Abdullah Al-Sagoff, twice in 2020 to be careful as MACC would “go after them”.
She said MACC officers investigating her were “nice” but their words were “intimidating”.
A prosecution witness, MACC investigating officer Muhamad Taufik Awaludin, told the court that Syed Saddiq had “concocted a narrative” that RM250,000 allegedly missing from his safe in his house belonged to him and his parents and was meant for house renovation.
He said this was evident through a conversation in a WhatsApp group involving Syed Saddiq and his colleagues where he had admitted that the missing money was actually from a discretionary fund.
“Initially, Syed Saddiq told the WhatsApp group that the money belonged to a discretionary fund. Later, he suggested that a media statement will be issued.
“He chose to lodge a police report (about the missing funds) and issued a statement saying that the money belonged to him and his parents,” Taufik said.
He claimed that his investigation into the missing funds in March 2020 led to another case of suspected embezzlement involving the RM1 million belonging to Armada.
Ambiga Sreenevasan, Gobind Singh Deo and Lim Wei Jiet represented Syed Saddiq, while deputy public prosecutor Wan Shahruddin Wan Ladin led the prosecution team.
The trial before judge Azhar Abdul Hamid continues tomorrow.