MELAKA: A couple, both lecturers at a local university here, were charged for corruption after using their position to buy lab research items from a relative's company.
Muhammad Zulfattah Zakaria, 36, and his wife, Norain Idris, 33, were alleged to be responsible for handling the purchases worth RM52,000 at a university in Melaka between July 2015 and June 2016.
Zulfattah was charged with three counts of using his position for corrupt gratification by selecting a company belonging to his mother-in-law, HA Mega Supply, for the purchase of lab items, involving tenders for RM19,986, RM19,975 and RM9,102.
The offences were allegedly committed at the university's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Alor Gajah between Jan 27, 2015 and July 15, 2015.
Norain was charged with committing the same offence involving the purchase of equipment, worth RM3,498 from the same company.
She was alleged to have committed the offence at the Research and Innovation Centre of the same university between June 15 and July 23, 2015.
They both claimed trial at the Sessions Court here for abusing their powers to allegedly solicit bribes.
They made the plea after the charges were read out to them separately before Justice Mohd Nasir Nordin.
The charges against the couple were framed under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and the duo could face a jail term up to 20 years and fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher upon conviction.
Deputy public prosecutor Irwan Shah Abdul Samat , who prosecuted, offered Muhammad Zulfattah bail of RM80,000 for all three charges and RM10,000 for Norain.
However, lawyer Rohaizad Kasim, representing the couple, requested for a lower bail as his clients, who earned a total of RM9,000 a month, had two children and were supporting their parents, and that their Tabung Haji accounts had been frozen since last year.
Following which, Mohd Nasir set bail at RM30,000 for Muhammad Zulfattah and RM10,000 for Norain.
The couple was also ordered to surrender the passports to the court and to report themselves at the Melaka MACC office every month.