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Former Malaysian minister Syed Saddiq gets 7 years' jail, US$2.1m fine and caning for corruption

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian lawmaker from a youth-based party that pulled out of the ruling coalition over graft concerns has been found guilty of corruption by the Kuala Lumpur High Court, state news agency Bernama reported on Thursday (Nov 9).

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was found guilty on four charges of criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of property and money laundering and sentenced to seven years’ jail, two strokes of the cane and fined RM10 million (US$2.1 million).

He is a member of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA), which in September pulled support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s coalition citing corruption concerns after graft charges were dropped against the country’s deputy premier.

“The court ruled that the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt, and the prosecution has succeeded in proving its case beyond reasonable doubt, said Justice Azhar Abdul Hamid. “Therefore, the accused is found guilty of all charges.”

The former youth and sports minister had been charged over abetting a former official of the Bersatu party in misappropriating RM1 million in funds for the party’s youth wing. The offence was alleged to have taken place in March 2020 when Bersatu was in power.

Syed Saddiq, 30, was formerly the head of Bersatu’s youth wing but left the party to form his own party, MUDA, in 2020. He can stay on as a member of parliament despite the charges.

Local media reported that the High Court has allowed Syed Saddiq a stay of execution of the sentencing pending an appeal.

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