Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman announced today that he has decided to step down as Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) president following his conviction for corruption charges this morning.
He said, however, that he will still hold the position of Muar member of Parliament.
“I no longer deserve the role of party president and will immediately vacate the position while I clear my name in court,” he told reporters during a press conference at Muda headquarters, today.
Muda deputy chairman Amira Aisya Abd Aziz will now hold the position of the party’s acting president as Syed Saddiq’s appeal against his conviction gets underway.
When asked if he would still serve as the Muar MP, he answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, as the lawyers have briefed, there’s a stay of execution and stay of conviction,” he said.
Syed Saddiq said staying on as the party’s president would defeat the purpose of Muda as a political party as it was established on the basis of bringing ‘new politics’ to the country and that the position of Muda’s president must be transparent and honest.
As a result of his conviction for corruption over the misappropriation of funds belonging to Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada) earlier today, he said he no longer deserves the role.
Despite ceasing to be party president, he said that he would continue to support the party and collaborate with its members.
“Amira Aisyah and the leadership will decide on the next steps. Muda is bigger than Syed Saddiq, and the presidency is an important role with a high threshold.
“Therefore, I appeal to clear my name in court, not just for the public but also for Muda members,” he said.
Syed Saddiq was today found guilty of corruption over the misappropriation of funds belonging to Armada — the Youth wing of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) — where he had served as its chief three years ago.
High Court Judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid said the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt on the charges against Syed Saddiq.
He is the first politician sentenced to whipping.
Meanwhile, his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said a notice of appeal would be filed.