Friday, October 09, 2020

Corruption involving government and public officers too HIGH? Need more stricter enforcement and more deterrent sentences - charge all in court?

Is CORRUPTION the new NORM in Malaysia? Covid-19 has the government talking about a 'NEW NORM"

But what about corruption within the government - involving public servants who are there to enforce the law - but now are guilty of violating the laws? The problem has been there for a very long time - and may be even worse today, and one reason for this may be the lack of prosecution, charges in court, trial, conviction and deterrent sentences imposed. [It is very sad that corruption and abuse of power cases get covered up - and this will happen, when the 'guilty' are simply subjected to internal disciplinary measures - and they just get transferred, demoted or allowed to resign > that solves no problem - for that 'bad apple' is just transferred or demoted - or gets off scot free with all the 'monies or favours' he had wrongly taken.

Pubic officers are very important - as they are involved in the decisions or actions that the government makes in reliance of their investigation, information and issues raised by some of these public officers.

A forest may get logged simply because a forestry received 'bribes or favours' - and we Malaysians suffer the loss of the forest, and certain people and community (most affected) have had their rights violated. A recent case of note, where such a forestry officer was found guilty and convicted on September 2020 (see below)

The problem with 'corruption' and corrupt practice is the finding of sufficient evidence for the prosecution to charge a person in court - will the giver of the bribe freely come forward and reveal the truth ...will the recipient of the bribe come forward -, even when a public officer is convicted for corruption > one have to wonder how many other bribes did he/she receive - and still has. Take the forestry officer's case -   

The Sessions Court here sentenced a Jerantut district forest officer to three months’ jail and a fine of RM15,000 after he pleaded guilty to five alternative charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM340,000 from a logging company since July 2016.

In one case, that officer received RM340,000 - how many other cases are there - how much did he get in total. Why have the bribe givers been charged? Will all the logging licences that involved the said officer be immediately STOPPED and reviewed - after all, most likely the permits and licenses are all likely to be tainted.. 

1MDB and/or SRC cases - surely there were so many public officers that were aware of the wrongdoing or crime, but they did not report - WHY? Surely they must be charged as well...Sometimes, cases may be 'covered up' because 'powerful' people are involved > This NORM must change - and corruption must be totally eliminated from the public service..

Every year, a reading of the Malaysian Auditor General's report reveals so many 'worngdoings' - but then, we do not read of person/s responsible being investigated and charged in court - IF this continues, the corrupt just become braver and believe they are 'safe' - and corruption will continue on and on..

In Malaysia, sadly even politicians who have been tried and convicted for corruption still seems to receive the support of many people today - to name a few would be Najib and even Anwar Ibrahim himself..

So, the message that the people are giving seems to be we are OK with corruption - carry one ..carry one..

So, maybe should Malaysia legalize corruption? Is that what Malaysians want?

MACC: Rampant corruption in govt procurement processes

PUTRAJAYA: Corruption cases resulting in leakage of government procurement involving civil servants are seen to be increasingly critical, said Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki.

Without revealing details, he said that 50 per cent of such cases involved government agencies.

"I can say that, based on the MACC analysis, such wastages are common in the public sector, where they (the top leadership of government agencies) who are in power in deciding a matter (government procurement) are involved in misappropriation and abuse of power.

"When there is a leakage of government procurement, our investigation shows that there is an element of corruption that causes a certain value of government procurement to rise," he told Bernama in conjunction with the 53rd MACC Anniversary today.

For example, Azam said that if a government procurement is worth RM1 million then the value of corruption will also increase.

"It is not only that the value of corruption increases but it also affects the quality of the project. For example, the latest case involving a road upgrade project in Sarawak, where the quality of the project has been reduced so that it is prone to damage and causes a loss of millions of ringgit to the government," he said.

Azam said the MACC needed to have experts in the matter and to work with the Public Works Department (PWD).

In early September, Bernama reported that the MACC had arrested two directors of a company with the title of Datuk suspected of corruption and submitting false claims worth tens of millions of ringgit in connection with the implementation of 10 road upgrading projects in Sarawak worth RM800 million.

Asked whether such cases occurred in the private sector, Azam said MACC had received reports involving the private sector but the number was not as worrying as in the public sector.

"The MACC's intention is to investigate both parties (public and private sectors) if it involves government procurement and to bring them to court," he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on the effort to turn Malaysia into a corruption-free country, Azam said that it demanded the MACC be mature in all its actions involving enforcement, prevention and community education in combating corruption.

"Presently as we are living in the new norms in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic, also for the next few years, the situation poses challenges to the MACC in its struggle towards zero corruption or creating a corruption-free society.

"Before Covid-19, the MACC went out into the field to give briefings and conduct campaigns against corruption to the community, but since Covid-19, the MACC uses a lot of video and social media approaches to interact with the community," he said.

Apart from that, Azam said that the MACC also included an element of anti-corruption education in the textbook of Year Five students which will come into effect in 2021.

"Apart from preventive measures, the MACC also focuses on educating society in improving the integrity of individuals, especially involving the future of the civil service sector," he said. -- Bernama - New Starits Times, 1/10/2020


Jerantut forest officer gets jail, RM15,000 fine for graft

KUANTAN, Sept 19 — The Sessions Court here sentenced a Jerantut district forest officer to three months’ jail and a fine of RM15,000 after he pleaded guilty to five alternative charges of accepting bribes amounting to RM340,000 from a logging company since July 2016.

The accused Zainal Abidin Maskon, 33, made the plea after the charge was read out before Judge Datuk Habibah Mohamed Yusof under Section 165 of the Penal Code which provided a maximum jail term of two years or fine or both.

He allegedly received for himself a sum of RM340,000 from P&K Trading Company manager, Yiang Kwai Seng who is known to have a connection with his official work involving the logging licence application at the Tekam Forest Reserve and Tekai Forest Reserve in Mukim Tembeling, Jerantut owned by Yayasan Pahang and Bakat Bijak Sdn Bhd.

The accused was charged with committing the offence at Malayan Banking Berhad and Maybank Malaysia Berhad’s Kuantan branch on July 1, 2016, Jan 24 and June 21 totalling RM340,000.

In his appeal, the accused, who was represented by Hon Kai Ping, Datuk Ng See Teong and Muhammad Irwan Bidin, asked the court to impose a light sentence as it was a first offence and the accused was remorse with the offence committed.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Fadhly Mohd Zamry called on the court to impose a heavy sentence as the accused had jeopardised the public’s trust in the Pahang Forestry Department.

“The accused’s act of greed has also affected the environment and the natural resources of the area involved, and even cash amounting to RM47,000 was also found in the office during the raid on Sept 11,” he said.

In the same proceedings, the court was informed that the accused also had a joint account with the owner of the logging company and unit trust amounting to RM6.09 million.

In this regard, Mohamad Fadly applied for the accused’s ownership rights over the cash to be stripped while the RM6.09 million would be forfeited in a separate proceeding later.

The three-month jail sentence was to run concurrently from the date the accused was arrested on Sept 11 this year and another five months’ jail if he failed to pay the RM15,000 fine.

Earlier, the accused with his wife and three others, the owner and manager of a logging company and a forest ranger were remanded for six days on Sept 12 to facilitate investigations into the case.

However, the other four suspects were released today. — Bernama, Malay Mail, 20/9/2020


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