Former building agent claims trial to accepting bribes totalling RM9,600 over cleaning and landscaping works

JOHOR BARU: A former building agent has claimed trial to 23 counts of accepting bribes amounting to RM9,600.

The accused, Tay Choon Siew, 68, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read in front of Sessions Court judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail here on Wednesday (Oct 27).

According to the charge sheet, Tay received bribes of between RM400 and RM800 from a contractor as inducement for him to propose that the 36-year-old man's company be appointed as the contractor in charge of cleaning and landscaping works at the building he managed.

He allegedly committed the offence at a bank in a mall near Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Johor Baru, between May 3, 2017 and Sept 3, 2019.

He was charged under Section 16 (a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act.

If convicted, he could be jailed for a maximum of 20 years and receive fines of not less than five times the amount of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The case was prosecuted by MACC prosecutor Nur Mahirah Mohd Pauzi while Tay was represented by lawyer Datin Freda Sabapathy.

Nur Mahirah suggested that the court set bail at RM20,000 with one surety and set additional conditions for the accused to report to the Johor MACC office once a month and surrender his passport.

However, Freda asked that the court set lower bail as her client, who is living alone in a flat in Stulang Laut, is currently unemployed and was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017.

She also pleaded with the court not to impose the second condition of reporting to the MACC office once a month.

She said this was due to his physical condition as he is living with a stoma bag after having part of his colon removed because of the cancer.

Judge Ahmad allowed bail at RM5,000 with one surety while next mention of the case was set at Nov 29.

The accused was also required to submit his passport to the court until the conclusion of the case. It is understood the condition of reporting to the MACC office monthly was not imposed.

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