Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Former Labuan MP fined RM10,000 for cheating

Former member of parliament for Labuan Suhaili Abdul Rahman, who pleaded guilty for not disclosing to the bank that he was a bankrupt when he became a guarantor in a loan application 14 years ago, was fined RM10,000 in default of one month's jail today.

Kota Kinabalu Sessions Court judge Duncan Sikodol passed the sentence after hearing mitigation by Suhaili, who was represented by counsel Rakbir Singh.

suhaili abdul rahmanYesterday, Suhaili pleaded guilty to the alternative charge of not informing the Malayan Banking Bhd that he was a bankrupt on April 3, 1996 when he became a guarantor in an application form for a housing loan of RM110,000 and overdraft facility of RM50,000 by Saraequity Sdn Bhd, to buy an apartment unit at Api-Api Centre, here.

Suhaili was charged under Section 109 (1) (m) (ii) of the Bankruptcy Act 1967 which carries a jail term of not more than two years or fine, or both upon conviction.

Suhaili to pay fine

When met after the sentence was passed, Suhaili said he would pay the fine today but his lawyer would file an appeal tomorrow as he felt the decision was too harsh.

In mitigation, Rakbir asked the court to place Suhaili, 49, on a good behaviour bond under Section 173 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code and not to record the conviction.

Deputy public prosecutor Fariza Hamzah from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission objected, saying that it would convey the wrong message that anyone could find a loophole in the law, and asked that the accused be charged under Section 109 (1) (m) (ii) of the Bankruptcy Act 1967.

In passing sentence, Duncan said he had taken into consideration that the accused had pleaded guilty and had an unblemished record previously, and that as a politician, he had served his constituents well.

"However, fair sentence must be passed. There was no explanation given why the accused was not aware he was bankrupt and binding (on good behaviour) would not send the right message to would-be offenders," said Duncan.

Suhaili has been accused of a litany of alleged wrongdoings when he was Labuan MP and Umno chief, including a case of abuse of power involving the closing down of a popular seafood restaurant on the island.

has reported in 2007 that he held two identity cards, which he denied.

- Bernama

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