Perhilitan officer charged with graft involving RM23k worth of backpacks

HIDIR REDUAN

KUANTAN: A Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) officer claimed trial today to charges of deceiving his director-general over a supply of backpacks worth RM23,400.

Abu Zahrim Ismail, clad in an orange Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) lockup outfit, calmly pleaded ‘not guilty’ before sessions court judge Datuk Habibah Mohamed Yusof this morning.

The 43-year-old allegedly used a forged government order form to authorise the supply of 28 units of Haversack 75 litre bags, and 60 units of Dry Pack 30 litre bags.

The items were never delivered.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Taman Negara Perhilitan Enforcement Office in Jerantut, where Abu Zahrim was based, on Nov 28, 2013.

If convicted, he may be jailed up to 20 years, and fined five times the value of the forged order form, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, per Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009.

MACC deputy public prosecutor Amer Abu Bakar Abdullah applied for bail to be set at RM15,000, with one surety.

Abu Zahrim, who was unrepresented, pleaded for lower bail, because he only earns slightly over RM3,000 a month.

The married father-of-four claimed that he has to provide for his family, and that his youngest child suffers from an unspecified medical ailment.

Abu Zahrim told Habibah that his work colleague would act as his bailor.

She granted RM4,000 bail with one surety, and fixed May 15 for mention.