It’s business as usual at Penang JPJ


Just another day: People waiting for their turn at the JPJ office in Seberang Jaya, Penang.

BUTTERWORTH: Day to day ope­ra­tions at the Road Transport De­­part­­ment (JPJ) in Seberang Jaya here are still running smoothly despite 17 of its personnel being charged with corruption in the past three days.

A check showed that of the 20 counters offering various services such as licence renewal and change of vehicle ownership, only 10 were manned.

A counter staff member, who did not want to be named, said it was “normal”.

“We can handle the crowd as it is not a very busy day. Some of the officers are also not back from lunch yet,” said the staff.

A private transport company runner, who only wanted to be known as Koay, also said it was a normal scenario.

“Usually, only half of the counters are open. This has been the norm for years,” he said.

State JPJ director Mohamat Johari Mat Nor said those charged were enforcement personnel and do not work at the counters.

Since Wednesday, 11 JPJ officers and another personnel from the now-defunct Land Public Transport Commission were charged with corruption at the Special Sessions Court following months of investigations, which also saw 79 people being remanded since April.

Yesterday, the last batch of six JPJ officers pleaded not guilty to recei­ving a total of RM11,300 in bribes.

The six were accused of receiving bribes, ranging from RM150 to RM1,500 per transaction via bank transfers between 2016 and last year, from Ooi Cheng Keat, 46, a director of Sam Lian Transport and Tyre Sdn Bhd and TSR Transport Sdn Bhd.

Five of those charged yesterday were assistant enforcement officers except for Mohd Sarwani Mohd Nor, 34, who is a vehicle inspector.

The five are Aminorrofee Rais, 44; Muhammad Faisal Salleh, 33; Abu Ubaidah Yacob, 36; Azrul Faiz Md Saad, 51; and Mohd Yusri Jusoh, 48.

Sessions Court judge Nizam Zaka­­ria spoke to each one of the accused to ascertain if they were still working in JPJ and involved in operations or enforcement.

“It is not about how much you are accused of taking. We don’t look at that. It is about your integrity.

“If (you’re) found guilty, you can lose your job. Your wife and children will be affected,” Nizam told Faisal.

Nizam also told Abu Ubaidah, who faces two counts of receiving RM500 and RM1,500 in bribes, res­pectively, that “in my experience, you can lose your job for taking RM2,000 as a public officer, and be liable for a RM10,000 fine for each charge”.

Aminorrofee’s bail was set at RM10,000 while the other four accused were granted a bail of RM8,000 each.

Nizam fixed Sept 24 for mention.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Moha­mad Azlan Basri and S. Selvaranjini from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission prosecuted.


   

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