Malaysian High Court Judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid gave his verdict to MUDA President, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman after finding him guilty of corruption.
Syed Saddiq Found Guilty as Charged
The trial began on June 21, 2022, testified by 30 prosecution witnesses. In October of the same year, he was ordered to present his defence following the successful establishment of a prima facie case against him.
Syed Saddiq was accused of supporting Rafiq Hakim Razali (former Armada assistant treasurer) to misappropriate the funds during this trial. Razali was authorised to handle the RM1 million Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada) funds.
High Court’s Verdict
The High Court sentenced Syed Saddiq to seven years in prison, including two strokes of the cane. He needs to pay a fine of RM10 million for the misappropriated fund.
He got a three-year sentence and a stroke of cane for backing CBT, which involves RM1 million of the Bersatu Youth (Armada)’s funds. Another two years in jail and a stroke of a cane for misuse of property for personal use. It’s an amount of RM120,000 from the Maybank Islamic Bhd account that belongs to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise.
Additionally, he must face another two years in jail with a fine of RM5 million for every money laundering charge. The court ordered the sentences to run simultaneously.
Pleading for Minimum Sentence
Syed Saddiq’s counsel Haijan Omar, appealed to the court to minimise his client’s sentences. He said the defendant was repentant and reproached the misdemeanour.
“My client had contributed a lot for the nation when he served as a former youth and sports minister and the current Muar MP. While in office, he was tasked with leading the historic constitutional amendment known as Undi 18 in which the minimum voting age was lowered from 21 to 18,” said Omar.
His lead defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo added the defendant didn’t obtain any benefit from the funds related to the charges. According to him, the evidence likewise indicates the money was utilised to support people during the pandemic.
On the other hand, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin requested the court to establish a deterrent sentence against Syed Saddiq. They need one to make other politicians think again before committing the same offence.