The Kuala Lumpur High Court was today told that Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had instructed that the RM1 million withdrawn from the Bersatu Youth wing account be distributed among the wing's exco members, a day after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigated and searched his residence in Petaling Jaya in March 2020.
MACC investigating officer Mohd Syahmeizy Sulong, 37, said the money withdrawn on March 6, 2020 was under the control of Rafiq Hakim Razali, the assistant treasurer of the youth wing, and that no transactions were made during that period before the amount was distributed on April 1, 2020.
"The money was kept at Rafiq Hakim’s house before it was distributed to Federal Territory Bersatu Youth information chief Muhammad Daniel Kusari and then party member Muhammad Naqib Ab Rahim," he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Asyraf Mohamed Tahir at the trial of the Muar MP, who faces four charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering.
Asked why the RM1 million was distributed all of a sudden to Daniel and Naqib, the witness replied: "The money was distributed after MACC started investigating and searching Syed Saddiq's house on March 31, 2020."
Syahmeizy, who investigated the case, said based on witness statements, the money was withdrawn by two youth wing trustees – Rafiq Hakim and Ahmad Redzuan Mohamed Shafi, who was the wing's assistant secretary – on Syed Saddiq's instructions.
According to the MACC senior superintendent, the cheques were signed by Rafiq Hakim and Redzuan as Syed Saddiq had no time to visit the bank, in addition to the fact that his signature changed frequently.
The 25th prosecution witness said investigations also revealed that on March 31, 2020, the accused contacted Rafiq Hakim and instructed him to "clear" the money kept in his Rafiq Hakim's house as he (Syed Saddiq) was worried that the cash would be seized by MACC.
To another question, Syahmeizy said MACC had searched Syed Saddiq’s house on the same day (March 31) following investigations by another investigating officer, Muhamad Khairi Muhamad Rodi, who had been investigating the case of the missing RM250,000 at the politician’s house.
According to Syahmeizy, of the RM1 million, some RM650,000 was distributed to Daniel while RM250,000 went to Naqib.
However, he added, MACC only found RM425,537 on Daniel, and went on to confiscate the money.
Asked about the rest of the money, Syahmeizy replied: "From Daniel's statement, the balance of the money was distributed to division heads and youth wing members."
Earlier, Syahmeizy said there were discussions involving Syed Saddiq, Rafiq Hakim and Redzuan in early March 2020 and that, according to statements by witnesses, Syed Saddiq was extremely worried about the political turmoil in the country following the "Sheraton Move".
"As such, Syed Saddiq asked Rafiq Hakim how much money was in the wing's central committee account. Syed Saddiq said that the money was the result of hard work during his tenure as youth chief. Rafiq Hakim then told Syed Saddiq that the current account balance was more than RM1 million," he said.
He also said the withdrawals were made after Syed Saddiq's position in Pakatan Harapan became shaky, and that this fact was supported by the statements of several other witnesses, namely Redzuan, Rafiq Hakim and former youth wing exco member, Abdul Hannaan Khairy.
When asked by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin why Syed Saddiq was charged for the first time on July 22, 2021 when the consent to prosecute was issued on Jan 4 the same year, the witness replied: "For the investigation against Syed Saddiq, the MACC had opened five investigation papers of different complaints and information.
"Therefore, the charge against him took too long because I needed the statements given by witnesses to synchronise with other investigation papers because at that time there was an incomplete investigation paper on Syed Saddiq."
The trial before judicial commissioner Azhar Abdul Hamid continues.