Wednesday, August 20, 2008

'Cash and sex': 2 Perak excos nabbed (Malaysiakini)

Two Perak PKR state executive councillors and a former PKR state assemblyperson were among six people detained in an Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) operation.

The duo are Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (PKR-Changkat Jering) (right), who is exco for tourism, human capital and NGOs and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (PKR-Behrang), the exco for entrepreneur development, agriculture and commerce.

In a statement, the ACA said the six were detained for alleged graft in relation to a RM180 million housing project in Seri Iskandar, about 30-minute drive south of Ipoh.

Five of them, aged between 45 and 57, were picked up yesterday following a public tip-off.


Meanwhile Jamaluddin (photo, far right) was arrested at 10.30am this morning when he surrendered himself to the ACA. He was accompanied by his lawyer.

"Three of the suspects, including an exco, were detained immediately after (allegedly) accepting RM100,000 in return for expediting the application process for a housing project worth RM180 million.

"They are also believed to be involved in sexual bribery," read the statement.

The ACA also revealed that among those arrested were a Perak Tengah district councillor, a technician with the state development body and two businessmen.

It is learnt that the two members of the state cabinet were not involved in sexual bribery.

According to the ACA, the five who were nabbed in a sting operation yesterday - including Mohd Osman, a retired army captain - were caught red-handed with RM100,000 found in a bag belonging to the exco at a hotel in Ipoh.

Several of them were spotted at the Ipoh Sessions Court today with handcuffs, but reporters could not ascertain their identities as their faces were covered.

It is learnt that the five have been remanded for three days to facilitate investigations. They have yet been charged.

Jamaluddin, who has been taken in for questioning, is expected to be brought to court tomorrow.

The ACA had earlier asked him to surrender himself to the agency following the arrest of the five at 6pm yesterday.

Meanwhile, Perak Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin told reporters this afternoon that those who have been remanded are innocent until proven guilty.

"They are remanded for investigations and no charges have been laid against them... Let natural justice takes its course," he told reporters.

The incident is expected to send the Perak government into turmoil as the Pakatan Rakyat government only holds a slim three-seat majority over Barisan Nasional.

'BN responsible for this'

Commenting on the matter, Perak DAP chairperson and senior state exco member Ngeh Koo Ham claimed that the arrest of the two Pakatan leaders was a case of 'victimisation' by BN to undermine the state government.

"This is only an attempt to undermine Pakatan in Perak, and an attempt to send them to prison," he said when met at the Parliament lobby today.

He also said the two arrested exco members would not be suspended pending the ACA investigation.

"We have this great suspicion that they are being victimised. How could they be suspended?" he asserted.

He also questioned the 'swift action' taken by the ACA regarding cases involving opposition politicians.

"The most disappointing thing about this is why is the ACA so swift in taking action against us while we have lodged so many reports about BN politicians on their (alleged) corrupt practices?" he asked.

Ngeh, who is also a member of parliament for Beruas, defended the Pakatan leaders, saying that they had been well reminded not to be involved in corruption before the state government was formed in the state.

"We have been emphasising on transparency and a corrupt-free government even before we formed the state government," he added.

However, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz dismissed Ngeh’s remarks as nothing new.

"What is new? They have been saying that all the time. Now we just have to wait for the ACA to complete their investigation without any interference," he said.

PKR deputy leader: Possible entrapment

Meanwhile, PKR deputy leader Syed Husin Ali said the manner the arrests were made "indicates the possibility that the individuals involved may have been victims of entrapment".

"The timing of this incident also gives reason to suspect a political motive given our close proximity to the by-election in Permatang Pauh," he said in a press statement this evening.

"Furthermore, the swiftness of the ACA's action is wholly inconsistent with its handling of a number of other cases involving graft, including the much-speculated Labuan case.

"The PKR leader called on ACA to conduct a "thorough, transparent and professionally conducted investigation" into the matter.

"If the investigation proves that alleged misconduct did in fact occur in this matter then PKR and our partners in the Pakatan Rakyat will take swift action against those involved in any impropriety consistent with our commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability."

Syed Husin also urged the ACA to show the "same degree of efficiency and enthusiasm" with its investigations involving members of the BN ruling coalition.

PM happy with ACA's progress

In a later development, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that the detention of two exco members showed that the steps taken to improve the ACA's capacity were bearing fruition.
"Now the ACA is very active and I am happy with that, especially with the increase in the number of enforcement officers; its investigation capacity has also been strengthened.

"The increase in capacity has resulted in the agency becoming more active.

"What we are seeing at the moment is the result of (the ACA) mounting a closer monitoring than before. The arrest of the two Perak executive councillors is due to this improvement in the ACA," he told reporters.

Abdullah said the ACA acted based on information it received.

"I know nothing (of the arrests). I was not informed, and it's not necessary to inform me. I only heard about it in the news... it is a matter for the ACA to decide, not us," said Abdullah.

entire news n photo courtesy of Malaysiakini

2 comments:

Why Cares said...

"met a guy in a restaurant and the guy carried with him a suitcase. Suddenly, after two minutes of meeting, the BPR came and arrested them. He didn’t know that the bag carried by the man he was meeting contained money."

1)No evidence that Both 2 PKR excos touched the Cash.

2)No evidence that the marked notes in the suitcase was found on both excos hands and clothes.

3)No evidence that both 2 excos receive the cash dishonestly & corruptly.

4) No evidence that both 2 excos have direct power to approve projects in a direct award system.
Perak use open tender system.

5)Audio recording of conversation insufficient to convict.

That is why remand only.

May use pressure on them to confess under CPC 113.

Incomplete offence, as offence not committed at the material time.

BPR is rash as it should have waited for both 2 excos to count the hard marked cash first.

So have to wait for chemist report on whether green chemical compound on marked notes was found on 2 excos hands and clothings.

So at the moment no case to answer.

Investigation should be NFA.

Many time government servants caught with marked Ringgit notes were acquitted , because ACA failed to proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had indeed received the marked cash corrutly.

A commission paid is not a corrupt act buy itself as many ingredients of the charge need to be proved.

Syabas Barisan Rakyat.

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