Expensive watch, phone land Navy man in jail

By Loghun Kumaran

IPOH, March 3 — A former Royal Malaysian Navy officer was sentenced to eight months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to two corruption charges at the Ipoh Sessions Court yesterday.

Abdul Aziz Abdul Gaffor, 56, a former captain at the naval base in Lumut, was also fined RM80,000 for both charges.

Abdul Aziz admitted to accepting a RM57,071 Rolex watch in March 2014 and a RM37,145 Vertu mobile phone in December 2014 from one Hussin Roslim@Roslind while aware that the latter’s companies had connections with his official responsibilities. Both offences were committed at a home in Manjung near here.

He was charged with committing the offences while he was the Lumut Royal Malaysian Navy Armada supply depot commanding officer.

Abdul Aziz had previously faced seven fraud-related charges, to which he claimed trial in September 2015.

However, he subsequently pleaded guilty to two of the charges, while the three others were dropped.

The remaining two charges were also taken into consideration in judge S. Indra Nehru’s decision.

Abdul Aziz’s lawyers Zamri Idris and Collin Andrew had during mitigation pleaded for their client to be spared the jail term as his reputation had already been tarnished.

“Even if no jail term is handed down, his reputation has been as if he has been ‘jailed’ forever. When he is convicted, his name and information will be listed in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission corruption data base permanently,” Zamri said.

“He has suffered humiliation from the day of his arrest as this case received wide media coverage,” he added.

However, deputy public prosecutors Norzilati Izhani Zainal@Zainol and Abdul Rashid Sulaiman argued the sentence must reflect the severity of the offences committed.

“The accused has served in the Royal Malaysian Navy since 1979 and should set a good example to the community. The position of a civil servant is a noble profession which shouldn’t be tarnished by elements of corruption,” Abdul Rashid said.

“Given his high position, he should be supporting the government’s efforts to wipe out corruption instead of being corrupt. There needs to be a clear message that this nation does not compromise on integrity,” he said.

Indra sentenced Abdul Aziz to two eight-month prison terms for both charges to run concurrently. She also handed down a RM 40,000 fine for each charge.

The court also ordered the luxury watch and handphone — as well as a Proton Saga vehicle, and RM161,454.62 in a bank account belonging to another man be surrendered to the government.