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'If he can, so can future PMs': Syed Saddiq keeps up the heat over Zahid DNAA

The Muar MP says the decision to discharge Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is a clear precedent that might be used by future governments as well.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Muda president and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. Photo: Bernama
Muda president and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. Photo: Bernama

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has continued his criticism of the move to discharge Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of the string of corruption charges against him, calling it a precedent that might be used by future governments to drop graft cases. 

"A clear precedent," Syed Saddiq, the Muda president, said in a Twitter post. 

"After this, when corruption cases are dropped one by one, the attorney-general appointed by the prime minister will be made the main shield."

Syed Saddiq's party, which had previously worked with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, quit the government bloc on Sept 10 in protest of the discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) granted to Zahid for the 47 charges in his Yayasan Akalbudi case. 
Syed Saddiq said then that the party would function as an opposition third force.

"This is the start of normalising corruption," he said. "We cannot and will not tolerate this unprincipled move. I would rather be punished than lose my principles and commit such a big sin."

Zahid, the Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman, had faced 12 counts of criminal breach of trust, eight of corruption, and 27 of money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to the charity foundation.

He was given the DNAA on Sept 4 after deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar informed the judge of the request by the Attorney-General's Chambers to discontinue all proceedings against him.

PH chairman and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who came to power on the back of Zahid's support, has consistently denied any interference in the case, saying the decision was made by then attorney-general Idrus Harun in accordance with Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution.

Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, he also said that the DNAA given to Zahid was not the first time that charges had been dropped despite the formation of a prima facie case. 

Syed Saddiq said his concern was that "future governments will use this precedent set by a so-called reform-led government".

"If he can, so can future prime ministers," he added. "Time will tell."