Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Money Politics : Umno man charged with graft

SEREMBAN: A 47-year-old businessman who is also the Umno deputy division chief here has been charged with graft at the sessions court here, earning him the dubious reputation for being the first party member to be incriminated for engaging in money politics.

Mohd Nor Awang, who contested for the Ampangan state seat in the March 8 general election and lost, was charged Tuesday with two counts of corruption for offering an Umno branch head money to nominate him for the top post in next month's divisional polls.

He pleaded not guilty.

In the first charge, Mohd Nor had allegedly given Taman Zaiton Indah branch head Rezwat Shahril Zainal Ariffin RM200 in his car bearing the registration number NBK16 at a parking lot behind Restoran Negeri in Taman Catleya in Senawang.

He allegedly committed the offence at 12.20pm on Aug 1.

In the second charge, he allegedly paid another RM500 to Rezwat Shahril in his car at a parking lot behind the Centre Point complex along Jalan Siamang Gagap near here.

He allegedly committed the offence the following day at 4.30pm.

ACA officials arrested Mohd Nor immediately after the second transaction took place. He was then detained for questioning and released on RM3,000 bail.

He allegedly paid the money to Rezwat Shahril to ensure his branch nominated him for the top post in the division during the branch meeting on Aug 3.

Mohd Nor, who was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and a tie, was calm throughout the proceedings.

He was charged under Section 10(b)(aa) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997. If found guilty, he can be jailed a maximum of 20 years and fined five times the bribe amount or a minimum of RM10,000 or both.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Asnawi Abu Hanipah urged the court to impose bail of RM5,000 for the offences although the amount involved was small.

However Mohd Nor's counsel Abdul Halim Lokman appealed for lower bail as the accused had been cooperative since his arrest.

"Since my client is also easily contactable, there is no reason such a high bail should be set. We have also deposited RM3,000 as bail with the ACA and we hope the court would impose lower bail," he said.

Judge Allaudeen Ismail then set bail at RM3,500. He fixed Jan 28 and 29 for the hearing.

Money politics: Umno man charged with graft
Malaysia Star, Malaysia - 2 Sep 2008