KUANTAN: A businessman believed to be involved in illegal land clearing activities in Cameron Highlands has been arrested and will be charged in court soon.
Pahang Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission director Moh Samsudin Yusof said the suspect, in his 40s, was detained shortly after he attempted to offer a bribe to an officer last October.
“We have initiated investigations under Section 17(b) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 for offering or giving bribes,” he said after MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed handed over flood relief aid to 26 state officers who were affected by the recent floods.
The offence carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of five times the amount of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
Moh Samsudin said the commission would continue to monitor and take stern action against encroachment, especially in Cameron Highlands.
He said investigations would also be initiated at the district and land office to trace those who had assisted the culprits in opening up land illegally.
“We need the co-operation of all parties, including the state government, to resolve this issue,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Abu Kassim said the MACC would enhance enforcement activities to protect the environment from being further exploited by unscrupulous parties.
He said stern action was necessary to prevent any untoward tragedies such as massive landslides and floods from recurring.
“We sympathise with the affected residents who have lost their lives and belongings as a result of illegal land clearing.
“From now, the MACC will go all out to tackle wrongdoings affecting the environment and greenery,” said Abu Kassim, who also urged the public to come forward with information so that investigations could be carried out promptly.