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RM1 million withdrawal instructed by Syed Saddiq not according to procedure, court hears

Rafiq Hakim Razali, the former assistant treasurer of Bersatu's Youth wing, also says he was involved in the matter from the very beginning.

3 minute read
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today. Photo: Bernama
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today. Photo: Bernama

A key witness in the trial of Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman told the Kuala Lumpur High Court today that the withdrawal of RM1 million on the instructions of the Muar MP was not in accordance with the set procedure, admitting as well that he was involved in the matter from the very beginning.

Rafiq Hakim Razali, 32, the former assistant treasurer of Bersatu's Youth wing, said the withdrawal from the Armada account was wrong as there was no working paper submitted for the withdrawal of the money from the bank on March 6, 2020.

"If you want to make a withdrawal, there should be a working paper on the programme (carried out) and the working paper presented to the Armada Chiefs Council comprising the Armada chief, deputy chief, assistant secretary and myself," he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin.

He agreed with the Wan Shaharuddin's suggestion that Syed Saddiq's act of ordering for the RM1 million to be "cleared" (disposed of) for fear that the money would be seized by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was an offence.

"It is wrong because they wanted to hide something from the authorities. If there was nothing wrong with it, why would this happen?" he said.

When asked why he continued distributing the money on Syed Saddiq's instructions to former Federal Territories Bersatu Youth information chief Muhammad Daniel Kusari and Muhammad Naqib Ab Rahim, who were then Bersatu members, despite knowing it was an offence, he replied: "Because I was stuck in it from the beginning, so I went on with it."

Wan Shaharuddin: Can you explain the meaning of being ‘stuck in it’?

Rafiq Hakim: The withdrawal of this money was wrong from the very beginning... indeed, it did not follow the proper procedure.

The 13th prosecution witness said if the money was not distributed to Daniel and Naqib, he was afraid that it would be confiscated by the MACC.

According to the witness, he would not have withdrawn the money and distributed it to the two individuals if he had not received instructions from Syed Saddiq.
Rafiq Hakim in his testimony previously stated that Syed Saddiq had ordered him to "clear" the RM1 million, where RM650,000 was distributed to Daniel and RM250,000 to Naqib while RM100,000 was used for the Armada programme on the instructions of the politician.

Meanwhile, Rafiq Hakim agreed with the suggestion of counsel Gobind Singh Deo, representing Syed Saddiq, that there was nothing stated in the party’s constitution that the withdrawal of money for the purpose of the Armada programme required a working paper, and that there was no legal directive requiring one at the time.

Gobind: According to the Bersatu constitution, what is needed is a balance sheet or account showing the disbursement of money, and it needs to be presented at the end of the financial year. That's what's required, isn't it?

Rafiq Hakim: Yes.
Syed Saddiq, 29, was charged as the then Youth chief, entrusted with the control of Armada funds, with abetting Rafiq Hakim with criminal breach of trust of RM1 million in funds belonging to the wing.

He was also charged with misusing property for himself, namely RM120,000 from the Maybank Islamic account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise by causing Rafiq Hakim to dispose of the money at Malayan Banking, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya between April 8 and 21, 2018.

He also faces two counts of engaging in money laundering activities through two transactions of RM50,000, believed to be the proceeds of unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account.

He is accused of committing the offence at a bank at Jalan Persisiran Perling, Taman Perling, Johor Bahru on June 16 and 19, 2018.

The trial before judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid continues tomorrow.