JOHOR BARU: The man arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in connection with an alleged RM2mil bribe offer to the Sultan of Johor, is a well-known Tan Sri.
The Klang-based businessman who moves in high society is accused of approaching Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar with the bribe offer to the Johor Ruler over an award recommendation to the King.
Only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can award the prestigious titles of Tun and Tan Sri, the highest orders.
Sources said the Sultan of Johor was “offended and insulted” by the individual.
“His Royal Highness is well known for his strong stand against frivolous awards to individuals with no record of public service to the nation or state,” the source added.
The source said His Royal Highness wanted to make a point that the value of titles awarded by the royalty must be protected.
The Sultan, in a recent interview with The Star, said there were now so many people with the title of Datuk that “if you throw a stone, it will hit a Datuk, the stone will then rebound and hit another Datuk”.
The sources said the individual himself was obsessed with titles as “he calls himself Tan Sri Datuk Dr”.
The MACC has given further hints of the person by describing him “as bald headed and a Chinese”.
It is understood that the MACC will investigate accusations that the individual was a “broker” for royal titles and also probe the source of his income.
“He will have to explain where he got his money beside his businesses,” the source added.
The man was arrested when he came out of “hiding” just hours after he was given a midnight deadline to show up.
He surrendered at the MACC headquarters in Parcel D at Putrajaya around 2pm. His lawyer arrived a few hours later.
It is learnt the man was arrested a few hours into questioning. He will be remanded today.
MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Azam Baki confirmed that the 54-year-old man turn himself in after lunchtime.
Earlier in the day, Azam issued a warning, saying the man had until midnight to come forward, failing which his identity would be revealed.
Azam, who was at the MACC excellent service award ceremony, said Immigration authorities had been asked to bar the man from leaving the country.
Last Saturday, Sultan Ibrahim wrote on his official Facebook page that he was offered RM2mil to suggest a person’s name for a “Tan Sri” title.
On Monday, the Johor Ruler granted an audience to MACC chief Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad.
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