PUTRAJAYA: All 24 officers of the Penang Road Transport Department (JPJ) will be suspended from duty upon the expiry of their remand order, says Datuk Seri Shaharuddin Khalid.
The JPJ director-general said all of them would be barred from work until the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) completed the probe on their alleged involvement in a lorry protection racket.
“We will not conduct an internal investigation because there is already an ongoing probe by the MACC.
“However, under the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations, we will proceed to suspend them from their duties.
“Under the regulations, they can be suspended for up to two months,” Shaharuddin told a press conference yesterday.
He said as the officers were only being investigated and not charged in court, they were still eligible to receive their salary.
“If they are charged, then a different provision of the regulations will apply,” he said.
To ensure that the manpower in Penang JPJ was not affected, Shaharuddin said officers from Kedah and Perak would be seconded to the state.
“Our enforcement activities are not crippled by this.
“It will continue and in fact, at this moment, it is going on as usual,” he said.
Shaharuddin assured that they would give full cooperation to the authorities on the matter.
He said that JPJ was the fourth highest among government agencies in terms of revenue collection, behind the Inland Revenue Board, Customs Department and Immigration Department.
He said with the implementation of digitalisation through new systems such as e-bidding, it would reduce human-to-human interaction and prevent corruption and leakages.
On Wednesday, 30 individuals, including 24 Penang JPJ officers were remanded for seven days to assist investigations into the protection racket.
The suspects allegedly turned a blind eye on lorry drivers, who committed road offences in Penang.
Sources said as an inducement, the officers received payment of between RM10,000 and RM32,000.