Contractor jailed a day, fined RM10,000 for trying to bribe council officer

JOHOR BARU: A contractor will spend a day behind bars after pleading guilty at the Sessions Court here to bribing a local council enforcement officer.

Phang Kok Ling, 39, was also fined RM10,000 in default three months’ jail by Sessions Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail on Tuesday (July 19).

According to the charge sheet, Phang had given a bribe of RM1,500 to Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBIP) enforcement assistant officer Shah Rizal Abdul Hamid at the council’s enforcement department at around 2.20pm on April 12.

The amount was reportedly given as an inducement not to take enforcement action against Phang’s elder brother for operating a reflexology centre without a licence and displaying an advertisement for the centre without a licence from MBIP.

Based on the facts of the case, the accused and his brother went to see the officer wanting to settle the compound notices issued by MBIP.

However, Phang handed the money to Shah Rizal, who rejected the bribe attempt three times and reminded the accused that such an act was against the law.

Phang told Shah Rizal to accept it, saying that the RM1,500 was a gesture of friendship, but the officer immediately detained him for bribery before handing him over to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

He was charged with an offence under Section 17(b) of the MACC Act 2009 punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act, which carries imprisonment not more than 20 years and a fine of five times the amount or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

The accused admitted committing the offence and Ahmad Kamal Arifin then sentenced him to a day in prison starting from the date of his conviction.

Ahmad Kamal Arifin also ordered the RM1,500 bribe money to be forfeited to the Malaysian government.

MACC’s Nik Lokman Hakim Nik Mohd Nor prosecuted while lawyers Goh Sze Han, Ahmad Yusri Ahmad Fuad and Muhammad Nasir represented the accused.

Phang paid the fine.