Syed Saddiq claims trial, vows to clear name

The former minister is charged with 2 CBT involving funds belonging to Bersatu

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MUAR MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (picture)claimed trial to two corruption charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and misappropriation of funds belonging to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

The former youth and sports minister pleaded not guilty to all charges at the Kuala Lumpur (KL) Sessions Court yesterday.

Judge Azura Alwi set the bail at RM333,000 but allowed the accused to post bail of RM80,000 yesterday and the remainder to be settled by next Tuesday.

The 29-year-old has been charged with CBT involving RM1 million funds owned by Bersatu, his former political party.

He was accused of having withdrawn the monies on March 6, 2020, in his capacity as the chief of Bersatu’s youth wing Armada Malaysia through a cheque without approval from the political party’s top leadership.

The offence was allegedly committed at CIMB Bank Bhd, Menara CIMB KL Sentral in KL.

The prosecution framed the CBT charge under Section 405 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 406 of the same Code, with up to 10 years imprisonment and whipping and liable to a fine, if found guilty

The former Cabinet member has also been charged with misusing RM120,000 in donations meant for the 14th General Election belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise.

He allegedly committed the offence at Maybank Islamic Bhd in Taman Pandan Jaya, KL, between April 8 and April 21, 2018.

The charge was read under Section 403 of the Penal Code that carries imprisonment between six months and five years with whipping and liable for a fine, if found guilty.

Outside the court, Syed Saddiq said he fully trusted his defence counsel Gobind Singh Deo and Datuk S Ambiga to handle the case.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Faridz Gohim Abdullah offered Syed Saddiq bail of RM500,000 and RM300,000 for the first and second charge, respectively, on the grounds that the offences were serious, and for him to surrender his passport to the court and to report to the nearest MACC office.

“The accused has a high position in the society and the amount of bail should also be high as he gets extensive media coverage. The amount of bail should reflect the level of seriousness of the offence committed,” he said.

The prosecutor also said the accused could intimidate the prosecution witnesses.

However, Gobind objected to the bail amount, saying that it was very high and applied for a bail of RM20,000 on each charge instead.

“My client is a person of high position and an MP who is active in the Muar constituency. The allegation that he will harass prosecution witnesses is a wild accusation as no report has been made showing the accused is trying to influence anyone,” he said.

Syed Saddiq had previously said the charges against him are politically motivated, and that he would rather face it than joining the Perikatan Nasional government.

Speaking to reporters after the proceeding, the youth leader said he is more than willing to clear his name under the legal system.

“If you think the threats will weaken my spirit, you are wrong. In actual fact, it will only increase my resolve to clean up Malaysia and build a Malaysia for all Malaysians.

“The threats will no way weaken my morale but in reality, will only strengthen it,” he said.