GEORGE TOWN: Seven doctors have been arrested for falsely certifying the fitness of bus and taxi drivers to help them get Public Services Vehicle (PSV) licences.
A clinic assistant and two male runners were also picked up in the swoop that was carried out simultaneously by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on seven clinics in Gelugor, Batu Ferringhi, Bukit Mertajam and Prai, at 3pm on Tuesday.
All the 10 suspects, aged between 32 and 74, would be remanded until today to assist in investigations under Section 18 of the MACC Act, which deals with submission of false claims with intention to deceive.
The clinics were under surveillance since December last year, said Penang MACC director Datuk Abdul Aziz Aban.
Initial investigation showed many drivers could easily secure their medical fitness certificates at the clinics without undergoing medical tests.
“These clinics are popular among taxi and bus drivers. Those who are not fit to drive could easily get their PSV licences if they visit one of these seven clinics.
“They just have to pay between RM5 and RM30 to get a medical fitness certificate.
“This puts the lives of passengers at risk. Imagine having taxi or bus drivers who are not medically fit on the road,” he said during a press conference at the Penang MACC office yesterday.
Abdul Aziz said they also seized several Road Transport Department (JPJ) L8 forms (medical fitness certificate forms), receipt books and rubber stamps from the clinics said to be in operation between four and 10 years.
He said the clinic assistant picked up was found signing the medical fitness forms without the presence of a doctor.
He said the runners would help to bring business to the clinics by looking out for drivers who wanted to renew their PSV licences.
Abdul Aziz said one of the runners had six rubber stamps bearing the names of two clinics and three doctors to certify the fitness test of the drivers.
“Out of the 16 books with 1,600 sheets of JPJ L8 forms seized from one of the runners, we found seven books or 700 forms that were signed and rubber stamped with the name of a fictitious doctor and clinic.
“We are investigating that as well,” he said, adding that the Road Transport Department was also investigating the number of drivers who patronised the clinics.
The offence carries a jail term of not more than 20 years and fine of not less than five times the value of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.