KUALA LUMPUR: Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has vowed to fight his corruption charges, saying that he had full faith in the courts and judges to clear his name.
The former youth and sports minister claimed that the charges came after he refused to support the Perikatan Nasional government.
"If you think the threats will weaken my spirit, you are wrong. In actual fact, it will only increase my resolve to clean up Malaysia and build a Malaysia for all Malaysians.
"The threats will no way weaken my morale but in reality, will only strengthen it," he told reporters after facing corruption charges at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Thursday (July 22).
He questioned why he was only being charged now, as the order to charge was given in August last year.
"I think this case is politically motivated and I will challenge it. I have full confidence in the courts and judges to clean my name," he said.
Syed Saddiq had claimed trial to two counts of corruption relating to criminal breach of trust (CBT) and misappropriation of monies involving funds that belonged to his former party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
The 29-year-old pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out by a court interpreter before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi.
According to the first charge, Syed Saddiq, as the youth leader of the party was entrusted with the funds belonging to the party's Youth wing Armada Malaysia, and he allegedly committed CBT where he was said to have made a withdrawal of RM1mil through a cheque without the approval of Bersatu’s top leadership.
Syed Saddiq was also charged with misusing RM120,000 in contributions for the GE14 campaign raised through a Maybank Islamic Berhad account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise.
"I entered politics to clean politics. I want to build a country where all Malaysians are proud of Malaysia as their home," he said, adding that he declared his assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) when he became minister.
He also said that he was a proponent and advocate to ensure the government implemented the Political Funding Bill.
He said that he did not like to live in luxury and that the charges were not related to his time in the government.
"If you are not guilty, confront them. Have the faith in the court and judges to clear your name," he said in a message to other parliamentarians.