KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo today challenged the validity of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation on Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman after an investigator appeared ignorant of basic facts relevant to his fraud trial.
Gobind adopted the approach after MACC investigation officer Nurul Hidayah Kamaruddin admitted she never spoke directly with the Muar MP during her entire investigation, relying instead on intermediaries, and that she did not know political parties must send expense statements to the Election Commission (EC) after a poll.
Nurul Hidayah also insisted that Syed Saddiq misused Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia funds and did not spend a single sen for elections as declared, but conceded that her basis for this was solely the statement of Rafiq Hakim Razali, the prosecution’s star witness.
Gobind then challenged her to produce evidence to support her belief, arguing that there would be documentary evidence of criminal breach of trust.
Gobind: My question is clear, when we buy something, we can check with the place we bought it, isn’t it? Just like campaign expenditure, you can determine if money was spent, if things were bought, et cetera, correct?
Gobind: So, did you investigate these things?
Gobind: So, in fact, you never fully investigated the money and what it was used for, and I put it to you that you didn’t complete your investigation.
Nurul could not recall when she spoke to Syed Saddiq’s father or name the officer who was in charge of speaking to Syed Saddiq during the investigation.
She also disagreed with Gobind that during an election, money could be advanced and reimbursed later despite being shown several related payments.
As Gobind maintained the line of questioning, Nurul Hidayah began repeating her previous answers regardless of the question.
She also persisted when Gobind repeatedly explained the related legal requirement for election candidates to declare their expenses to the EC, which he said was important exonerating evidence.
This eventually prompted Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid to intervene to try and extract an answer from her.
Azhar: Miss Nurul, you need to listen to the questions properly. You seem to be answering what you want to answer. These questions are easy. After an election, all candidates must clip their statements of expenditure along with the relevant documents to the EC; are you aware of that?
Nurul: I’m not sure
Azhar: So, you don’t know?
Nurul: Yes, I don’t know.
Nurul was in charge of investigating the RM120,000 in contributions raised through a Maybank Islamic Bhd account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise at Maybank Islamic Bhd, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya that was alleged transferred into Syed Saddiq’s personal Maybank account in four transactions.
During cross examination earlier today, Nurul insisted that RM100,000 from this went from Maybank Islamic Bhd account belonging to Armada Bumi Bersatu Enterprise (ABBE) into Syed Saddiq’s personal bank account in two payments of RM50,000.
She insisted this was for his personal use but she could not answer Gobind when he asked what happened with the remaining RM20,000.
In this trial Syed Saddiq is charged with misusing property for himself, namely RM120,000, causing Rafiq to dispose of the money at Malayan Banking Berhad, Jalan Pandan 3/6A, Taman Pandan Jaya here between April 8 and 21, 2018.
Syed Saddiq also faces two counts of engaging in money laundering activities, namely two transactions of RM50,000, believed to be proceeds of unlawful activities, from his Maybank Islamic Bhd account into his Amanah Saham Bumiputera account, on June 16 and 19, 2018.
The trial resumes on August 3.