Company director, project manager charged over RM8.4 million graft

Shanti Gunaratnam

KUALA LUMPUR: A company director and project manager claimed trial at the Sessions Court to charges of submitting false claims and accepting bribes involving some RM8.4 million in relation to pipe maintenance works.

The duo - Tan Tian Hock, 61, and Lim Ooi Hwa, 48, were slapped with a combined 19 charges and were charged before Judges Azura Alwi, Allaudeen Hassan and Madihah Harullah, for all the offences.

Tan, and Lim were jointly charged with submitting false claims amounting to RM7 million to Ahmad Ridzuan Zainal Abidin, the project manager of Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd at Petronas Gas Berhad office, Tower 1, Petronas Twin Tower at June 14, 2013.

Tan who is the company director of Algotech (M) Sdn Bhd also faces three charges of accepting bribes totaling RM330,000 from two companies, for awarding of contract works.

The alleged offences were committed at Maybank Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara between May 27, 2011 and Dec 7, 2012.

Project manager Lim was charged with 15 charges of accepting bribes involving some RM1,08 million from five companies, for awarding contract works to the companies.

He is alleged to have committed all the offences at the Bukit Damansara Maybank and Kepong Industrial Park Hong Leong Bank Berhad branch between July 29, 2011 and Dec 3, 2012.

Deputy public prosecutors Ahmad Akram Gharib and Abdul Rashid Sulaiman from the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) told the courts that the offences were non-bailable, serious in nature and discretion to grant bail lies with the court.

They also sought high bail amount as the offences carries deterrent sentences and heavy fines, and therefore were concerned that both the accused could be flight risk.

Counsel Maizatul Akmar Aziz in seeking a lenient bail for Tan told the court he client is undergoing cancer treatment and has been very cooperative during investigations by the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

"If the bail amount is exorbitant, my client will not be able to raise the money, and will have to be remanded which will jeopardise his treatment."

Counsel Amrit Pal Singh in seeking a reasonable bail amount for Lim said bail is imposed by courts to secure attendance and an accused is innocent until proven guilty.

"My client is not flight risk as he has gone to the MACC eight times during investigations. The court can impose additional bail conditions while impose reasonable bail amounts."

Azura imposed a bail of RM400,000 on Tan and Liam with two surety each for the joint charge of falsifying the claims, and ordered them to surrender their passports to the court, report to the nearest police station of MACC office once a month and fixed June 5 for mention.

For the bribery charges, Allaudeen imposed a RM500,000 bail or by submitting property grant in one surety on Tan, and fixed June 21 for mention while Madihah set bail at RM100,000 in one surety on Lim and fixed June 5 for mention.