PETALING JAYA: In an explosive claim in a court affidavit, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman revealed that home minister Hamzah Zainudin had “enticed” him to support the government if he wanted his new party Muda’s registration to be approved.
The former youth and sports minister said this happened in the Dewan Rakyat during the Budget session when he brought up the matter with Hamzah since the Registrar of Societies (RoS) came under his purview.
“He told me that I had never voted in support of government bills as an MP,” Syed Saddiq said in his affidavit in support of obtaining leave for a judicial review application over the refusal of the RoS to register Muda.
Syed Saddiq said the minister went on to say that even if he opposed government bills, he should stay away from the Dewan Rakyat when voting took place.
“I was shocked. I replied that I cannot abdicate my duty as an MP and will always vote in accordance with my conscience and the interest of my constituents,” he said in the affidavit sighted by FMT.
Syed Saddiq said he met Hamzah at his office in the Parliament building on Nov 3 last year at about 10.45am to discuss Muda’s registration.
Upon enquiry of the status, Hamzah said he had not received any letter from him (Syed Saddiq) appealing for assistance.
He claimed Hamzah told him that the official route for registration was insufficient and that it was necessary for him to write to the minister directly.
Syed Saddiq submitted a letter to Hamzah on the same day, giving him the background of the matter and requesting for assistance to expedite Muda’s registration.
On Nov 10, he said the minister’s political secretary informed him that he had forwarded the Nov 3 letter to the RoS with a note to look into the matter.
Syed Saddiq said on Dec 13, he again communicated with Hamzah on the status of the registration but the minister said: “I should commit to the prime minister and again reminded me that I had been voting against the government.”
At that time, MPs were scheduled to vote on the 2021 Budget on Dec 15 and there was much uncertainty, tension and anxiety.
A failure to pass the budget would be tantamount to a loss of confidence in Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and which could have led to his resignation.
Earlier this month, Muda’s 13 sponsors led by Syed Saddiq filed the leave application to quash the RoS and the minister’s refusal to register the party.
They also want to compel the RoS to register Muda as a political party within seven days of a court order.
The leave application is scheduled to be heard via a virtual hearing before judge Mariana Yahya tomorrow (Monday) and FMT understands that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) would be raising a preliminary objection.
The AGC said it was premature for Muda to seek legal remedy as it had yet to exhaust an appeal to the minister within 30 days after the RoS had first rejected the application.
On Jan 6, the RoS rejected the registration without giving any specific reason.
Muda filed its application to register the party on Sept 17 and submitted its revised constitution on Oct 6.