KUALA LUMPUR: Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is the first politician in Malaysia to be sentenced to whipping after being found guilty of four charges related to Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada) funds on Thursday (Nov 9).
This was confirmed by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin, who led the prosecution team in the case against the Muda president who was charged with four counts of abetting in criminal breach of trust (CBT), misappropriation of assets and money laundering.
Wan Shaharuddin said the punishment applied to male offenders under the age of 50.
"According to Section 289 (c) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2007, female offenders, men sentenced to death and men over the age 50 cannot be whipped," he said when contacted by reporters.
Meanwhile, Wan Shaharuddin, who is also the senior director of the Legal and Prosecution Division of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) hoped that the decision would serve as a deterrent to other politicians from betraying the people's trust.
The High Court sentenced Syed Saddiq, 30, to seven years in prison, two lashes, and a fine of RM10mil after he was found guilty of the four charges.
Judge Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid sentenced him to three years in prison and one whipping for the offence of abetting in CBT, two years in prison and one whipping for the charge of misappropriation of assets while for each of the two money laundering offences, he was sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of RM5mil in default two years jail.
After the sentencing, the former youth and sports minister, who appeared in court wearing a black suit, appeared calm and consoled his crying parents.
Syed Saddiq, when met by reporters after the proceedings, said he respected the court's decision and as a policymaker, he needed to place his trust in the judicial institution.
"The judicial institution is usually the last bastion for Malaysians and there is no difference between me and other citizens.
"If others have to respect the court's decision, I also have to respect the court's decision," said the former Armada chief.
Syed Saddiq added that he had discussed the matter with his lawyer and would file an appeal at the Court of Appeal as soon as possible.
"This is so that the judicial institution and the court will be the final decision on my fate and also the best platform to clear my name. In this matter, I stick to the words ‘brave because it is true’ - ‘Qulil haq walau kana murran’ - or ‘tell the truth, even if it is bitter’," he said.
Meanwhile, his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said a notice of appeal would be filed on Thursday (Nov 9). - Bernama