Arrest warrant out for Malacca official

ARNAZ M KHAIRUL and KELLY KOH


He was supposed to have been charged yesterday, but action was put off


AWARRANT of arrest is out for a politician in Malacca implicated in a multimillion-ringgit corruption scandal.

The man was supposed to be charged yesterday with at least 10 counts of offences related to money laundering, but the highly-anticipated court appearance did not materialise.

The New Straits Times was made to understand that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which had been granted the arrest warrant by the Malacca magistrate’s court, failed to serve the document on the 56-year-old politician.

At the Sessions Court in Ayer Keroh here yesterday, the press corps’ long wait for the man, who would have been clad in the commission’s orange lock-up attire, ended their stake-out when they learnt that the case was not to be heard yesterday.

MACC was expected to file charges against the official over alleged involvement in two cases involving RM150 million in seizures since he was remanded on Nov 28.

The NST learnt that the official would be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

It is also understood that he faced another set of charges for criminal breach of trust, which, if convicted, could land him in jail for up to 20 years, a fine and whipping.

The official’s lawyer, Azrul Zulkifli Stork, who was present at the court, confirmed that his client would be charged “soon”, but did not know when it would happen.

“I have contacted MACC and I was told that I would be informed (of the case’s developments).

“I have no qualms (calling reporters for coverage) as we are steady, and we don’t plan to escape,” said Azrul.

On Monday night, a state MACC spokesman confirmed that the commission’s case would be brought to the court yesterday.

The spokesman yesterday, however, said: “I am sorry, there is indeed a case to be charged (at court) tomorrow (yesterday), but I do not know who. I have not received any information pertaining to this case (as this is handled by MACC headquarters).

“I am also awaiting answers from them,” he had said in a text message on Monday.

Late yesterday, however, the spokesman told the NST that the corruption case had been shelved to a later date.

“No one is going to be charged today (yesterday). It has been postponed.

“I will update if there are new developments.”

He added that a new date could be as early as the end of next week.

It is learnt that the graft busters were also waiting for further instructions from the Attorney-General’s Chambers on the matter.

The New Sunday Times had reported last week that a politician in Malacca, embroiled in two high-profile corruption cases, was expected to be charged soon.

Seizures in the case included RM41 million in cash and RM12.6 million in bank accounts, 56 land titles belonging to Yayasan Melaka in Sabah and six State Economic Planning Unit files related to land reclamation projects, seven vehicles (two Toyota Vellfires, a Toyota Camry, a BMW, a Proton Waja, a Perodua Myvi and a Proton Exora), along with two Toyota FJ Cruiser four-wheel drive vehicles, which are worth about RM200,000 each.

The value of the seizures would make this the biggest corruption case involving a government official in the country, should charges be pressed.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki could not be reached for comment on the postponement of the case.

It is understood that he is on a working trip to Amsterdam.