Former Malaysian minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman took to Facebook and Instagram live last night (July 22) to address the charges that have been levied against him.
He also launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to pay for his bail and legal fees.
Earlier that day, he was charged with two alleged offences of misappropriating funds from his former political party, Bersatu.
Syed Saddiq pleaded not guilty to both charges.
His crowdfunding campaign, Saddiq Tetap Lawan or Saddiq continues to fight, aims to raise RM330,000 (S$106,000) for his bail to be paid by July 27, and his legal fees.
The website claimed that the 29-year-old faces politically-motivated accusations from the governing coalition, Perikatan Nasional, which includes members of Bersatu.
During his live session, which spanned more than an hour, Syed Saddiq further alleged that other members of parliament were also threatened by coalition should they refuse to join them.
No one sought approval for expenses
He denied any wrongdoings or claims of corruption. Saddiq was accused of allegedly withdrawing RM1 million of Bersatu's funds without prior approval of the party's leadership.
He claimed that the money was used to support Covid-19 relief measures at parliamentary constituencies.
He further revealed during the session that from the party's inception to the day he was kicked out, no one ever tabled the party's expenses, including the party's president.
He added that at the point of withdrawal, he was not a signatory for its approval. He claimed that the party youth wing's treasurer and secretary's signatures were used, as the fund was intended for charity.
Syed Saddiq also claimed it was all accounted for.
In his live session, he claimed that Bersatu's former chairman, and Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is willing to testify on his behalf in court.
Personal fundraising, not linked to party
For his second charge, he was alleged to have misappropriated RM120,000 (S$39,000) of Bersatu's election funds.
According to Syed Saddiq, there were several discrepancies in the allegation.
He mentioned that the party was temporarily de-registered on April 3, 2018 but his fundraising was held on April 8 and 9 in the same month.
He also said that the fundraising campaign was done for his own funds, in campaigning for the 2018 general election.
“So logically and legally speaking, how can that be fundraising for a party?” he asked.
He further added that the current party president and Malaysia's Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, actually came down to the fundraiser three years ago and contributed directly to him for his campaign, not the party.
“If this campaign is the purpose of the party, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will surely contribute to the party,” he said.
In the live session, he also showed a poster of the said fundraiser, stating that there was not any party logo reflected on it.
"Watershed for institutional reform"
Despite the allegations against him, Syed Saddiq wanted to ensure that the cases he face will be a catalyst for institutional reform.
One of the reforms that he hoped to see relates to regulations for political funding.
“I want to make sure that my case will be the watershed for institutional reform to take place,” he said during the live session.
Top image via Syed Saddiq/Facebook