Malaysia’s former minister Syed Saddiq claims trial to two charges of money laundering involving RM100,000
JOHOR BAHRU: Former Malaysian youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court on Thursday (Aug 5) to two charges of money laundering amounting to RM100,000 (US$23,700).
The 29-year-old Muar MP was accused of committing the offences three years ago before he became a minister in the Pakatan Harapan government in July 2018.
According to the charges, Syed Saddiq was alleged to have been involved in money laundering with two transactions of transferring RM50,000 each from his Maybank Islamic Berhad account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account.
The charge sheet said that the money was allegedly obtained through money laundering activities and the offences were committed at a bank in Taman Perling, Johor Bahru, on Jun 16 and Jun 19, 2018.
Syed Saddiq was charged under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.
If found guilty, he could face a jail sentence of not more than 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum of the proceeds of an unlawful activity.
Syed Saddiq was allowed bail and his case will be mentioned again on Sep 10 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
The prosecution requested for the case to be transferred to Kuala Lumpur as the prosecution witnesses were the same as the two earlier chargers against Syed Saddiq.
The prosecution was conducted by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutors Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, Ahmad Akram Gharib and Mohd 'Afif Al.
Syed Saddiq was represented by Mr Gobind Singh Deo, who is also Puchong MP.
On Jul 22, Syed Saddiq pleaded not guilty to charges relating to criminal breach of trust (CBT) and misappropriation of monies involving funds that belonged to his former party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
For the first charge, Syed Saddiq, who was then chief of Bersatu's youth wing Armada, was accused of criminal breach of trust for withdrawing RM1 million through a cheque without the approval of Bersatu's supreme council.
He was alleged to have committed the act on Mar 6, 2020. The charge under Section 405 of the Penal Code carries a jail term not exceeding 10 years, caning and a fine.
Syed Saddiq was also charged with misusing RM120,000 of donations for the 14th general election campaign, which was raised via a bank account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise.
This offence was said to be committed between Apr 8, 2018, and Apr 21, 2018. The charge under Section 403 of the Penal Code carries a prison sentence of between six months and five years, caning and fine.
Syed Saddiq contested in the 2018 general election as a candidate of Bersatu. He became the youngest federal minister when he was appointed youth and sports minister.
Following Bersatu's exit from PH, Syed Saddiq was sacked by the party in May last year along with Dr Mahathir Mahathir and several MPs. He later co-founded Malaysia’s first youth-based party Malaysian United Democratic Alliance.
Bersatu went on to join forces with other political parties including United Malays National Organisation to form the Perikatan Nasional government. Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin is the current prime minister of Malaysia.