On 24 September 2018, the then 26-years old Syed Saddiq as the Minister of Youth and Sports, made a lofty declaration. Speaking at the Varsity Anti-Corruption Convention at Universiti Malaysia Perlis, he declared his support for the Pakatan Harapan Government’s policy of requiring every minister to declare their assets that would be displayed on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission online portal. Saddiq argued that if “everyone will be able to view and make comparisons if previously someone who had RM300,000 then has RM300 million within 10 years; that is an indication that something isn’t right”.

In his speech, Saddiq called on the youth to develop an ‘allergy’ to corruption which he said would ruin the government administration. He called on the youth to be ‘brave in challenging corruption and abuse of power’, as if this is not done by the present generation, Malaysia would not be able to come a ‘major nation’ in 10 to 20 years. It was because of these considerations, said Saddiq that he “want to educate our young to adopt a culture of high integrity and anti-corruption” and that he was “confident that the youth of today are wiser in evaluating the corruption menace as they are more exposed to national issues”.

Clearly, Saddiq said everything right about how Malaysia should move forward and the serious need to curb the corruption menace. As the youngest member of the then PH Cabinet, his speech gained traction among the youths and many even spoke of the ‘new broom’ that was ‘sweeping clean’. How did Saddiq’s idealism and speech-making match with his political realities?

The Dirt of Saddiq Exposed

Yet, following the collapse of PH government in February 2020, Saddiq’s hypocrisy and dirt were exposed for all to see. Since then, he has been accused of a number of financial manipulations, misappropriations and abuse of power, notwithstanding his lofty speech at Universiti Malaysia Perlis in September 2018 about Malaysia youths’ need to be allergic to corruption and abuse of power.

First, Saddiq is being charged, as the then Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Armada (Youth) chief, entrusted with control of Armada funds, with committing CBT by withdrawing RM1 million via a CIMB Bank Bhd cheque without obtaining permission from the Bersatu supreme leadership council. Saddiq committed the offence at a CIMB Bank Bhd branch at Menara CIMB Kuala Lumpur Sentral on 6 March 2020. This crime under Section 405 of the Penal Code is punishable under Section 406 with a maximum imprisonment of 10 years with whipping and a possible fine, if convicted.

Second, Saddiq also faces a charge of misusing RM120,000 in donations that were meant for the 14th general election campaign that were collected through a Maybank Islamic Bhd account owned by Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise. This crime was allegedly committed at the Maybank Islamic Bhd, Taman Pandan Jaya, between 8 April and 21 April 2018. Under Section 403 of the Penal Code, this carries a jail term of up to five years with whipping and a possible fine if convicted. Interestingly, this offence was committed by Saddiq even before he was elected as an MP.

There are two other additional charges that involve alleged money laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000 from his Maybank Islamic Bhd account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account, which are believed to be proceeds of illegal activities. On 30 March 2020, Saddiq also reported that RM250,000 had been stolen from his house safe, later claiming that the huge amount of cash belonged to him and his parents, and was meant for home renovations.

For these alleged crimes, the trials dates have been set for 7 – 10 June, 20 – 22 and 27 – 28 June; 4- 8, 13-15 and 18-22 July 2022 in the Malaysian High Court.

Saddiq, Question of Integrity and Johor Politics

For a relatively young politician, a former minister and currently the MP for Muar, Johor, the optics surrounding Saddiq are highly negative and counterproductive. Clearly, Malaysians are beginning to realise and see through that when a newbie and a political wannabee starts to talk of high idealism about remedying the political system and yet, becomes embroiled in the very crimes that he is championing against, then something is seriously wrong with such an individual.

Ultimately, the big question all Malaysians, especially Johoreans will have to ask – can Saddiq be trusted? What will happen if such an individual is given high office that naturally involves millions of taxpayers’ money? This is the heart of the issue involving the manifold misdeeds of Saddiq even though he is yet to be formally found guilty by the High Court.

Regardless of the final outcome by the end July 2022, Saddiq must be beginning to realise that maneuvering with public funds is a dangerous act. It is not whether but only a question of when financial manipulations will be discovered and Malaysians will be accepting this. What Malaysians are looking out for in young politicians is integrity. Yet, this fledgling politician from Johor has tainted himself and it will take many good years for him to come clean. Clearly, his integrity and questions surrounding what he says and do will haunt him like a Sword of Damocles for a long time to come.

Syed Saddiq the Corrupted and Disgraced Liability of Malaysian Politics

For his alleged criminal activities, Saddiq faces the music from the Malaysia’s High Court

On 28 October 2022, the Malaysian High Court made its decision with regard to Syed Saddiq’s alleged criminal activities. The 1992 born young politician has been mired in controversy since he entered politics in 2018. Justice Azhar Abdul Hamid concluded that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against Saddiq, the MUDA President and former youth and sports minister in the Mahathir’s government from July 2018 to February 2020, on four corruption charges.  The Malaysian High Court order Saddiq to enter his defence on charges of abetting in criminal breach of trust (CBT), misappropriation of assets and money laundering. The trial is set to begin in 2023, from 22 to 24 February, 13-14 March and 10-14 April.

Saddiq is charged, as the former BERSATU Youth wing or ARMADA chief, in abetting with its former assistant treasurer, Rafiq Hakim, in committing CBT of RM 1 million at CIMB Bank at Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, on 6 March 2020. The charge, framed under Section 406 of the Penal Code, provides imprisonment for up to 10 years with whipping and a fine, if found guilty.

The somewhat flamyboyant but largely immature youth politician from Johor, also faces two counts of engaging in money-laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000 each, believed to be proceeds from unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic Bhd account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputra account at a bank in Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Bahru, on 16 and 19 June 2018, just barely six weeks after being appointed as a minister following his victory in the 2018 general elections. The charge is framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 which provides imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of the unlawful activity, if found guilty.

As has been reported on a number of occasions on this platform, as an ambitious, yet inexperienced and stumbling young politician, Syed Saddiq is an immense political liability to which ever political party he is attached to and probably most critical of all, a massive deficit for the voters, wherever he stands, including in Muar where he is the incumbent MP.

Worse still, Saddiq simply does not know how to walk his talk, making him an explicit liar and hypocrite. For example, on 24 September 2018, a few months after committing various financial transgressions and as a serving minister, he declared that every minister should not only declare his/her assets on an online anti-corruption portal but called on Malaysians, especially its youth, to be allergic to corruption as this disease was something that could ruin the country. Malaysia’s future growth and development, he argued depended on being non-corrupt, and yet, Saddiq himself was involved in suspicious financial transactions, for which he is being charged in the High Court today. Yet, the very dirt that Saddiq was trying to stick on the pre-Pakatan Harapan government(s) came unstuck and worse of it, involved himself directly. This is clearly a person who is a chronic and poor liar or suffers from some kind of split personality, and where he only sees the wrongs of others and not himself, even though the crime may be similar or even worse.

We must laud the Malaysian legal system for exposing criminals and politicians of questionable integrity such as Syed Saddiq. Saddiq clearly lacks integrity, practices double standards and worst of all, is a political hypocrite. His motto seems to be: ‘don’t do what I do; do what I say’. The High Court trial is about exposing this Malaysian political hypocrite who is highly deficit in integrity.

For Muarians, in particular and Johoreans, in general, Saddiq is an immense liability and it is fortunate that the general elections are just slightly more than two weeks away scheduled for 19 November 2022. The Muar voters and/or wherever Saddiq tries to contest in the coming elections, should send a clear signal that individuals of such character and behaviour does not represent the voice of the people. All Malaysians should distance themselves from an individual of such negative character and send a strong signal that Malaysians, especially the youth, stand for clean leaders and individuals of integrity. As a political wannabee, Saddiq has failed in almost all counts, dumping his former mentor, Mahathir and is now trying to establish himself as a new-look political leader despite very serious questionable political traits involving honesty and integrity.

Earlier it was reported on this platform that “the‘never-can-learn’, antics-based, publicity-seeking and continuously stumbling Syed Saddiq, has once again hit the headlines for the wrong reasons”. This time, we can say with confidence and a sense of justice that Saddiq has hit the headlines for the right reasons – the law has caught up with him and he is being asked to defend himself in the face of various financial irregularities, something not expected of a politician, what more, one who claims to be a game changer.

As many young Malaysians, aged 18 to 20 will be voting for the first time in the coming general elections, it is important that the future centre of political gravity voters send out the right and strong signal that politicians such as Saddiq should be rejected. Saddiq does not represent the moral and ethical views, and sense of what is right in Malaysia, especially the youth. Hence, the need for Malaysians, especially in Johor, if he still stands in Muar or any other constituency in Johor or elsewhere, to soundly defeat and reject him on 19 November 2022. This is because Saddiq is making a mockery of Malaysians as a whole, hoodwinking himself and others to believe that individuals like him, who flagrantly violate the nation’s laws, can contest and hope to win in the elections as voters are numb of his misdeeds and acts of crime.

Source : Suara Harimau

Source : Suara Harimau

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