Penang teacher pleads not guilty to two charges of abuse of power

BUTTERWORTH: A 46-year-old teacher pleaded not guilty to two charges of abuse of power at a Sessions Court here Wednesday (May 18).

Hazlina Kasah pleaded not guilty to two charges under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision (MACC) Act 2009 for abusing power by providing supplies worth over RM2,000 to the school she was stationed at from her personal company.

Based on the charge sheet, she was charged with abusing her power by using her position at SMK Pokok Sena, as the head of the physical education department in the school, to submit a note suggesting that Hazwan Event Management supply the school with 10 units of A4 paper, 30 units of marker pens, a radio, a blood pressure machine, three compasses, two weighing machines, a trampoline and 10 units of coloured paper amounting to RM2353.66 for personal gain, as she is the owner of the said company on Oct 17, 2017 at the management office in SMK Pokok Sena, Prai.

The second charge read that she, on Oct 19, 2017 at the same location and for the same intentions, submitted a request note to the school for the purchase of five footballs and one futsal ball from the same company for RM522.66, leading to personal gain.

The offence under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 is punishable under Section 24(1) of the same Act and carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

MACC Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhamad Azlan Basri said it was a non-bailable offence but if the court wished to grant bail, there were conditions MACC would suggest including bail set at RM10,000 and for Hazlina to surrender all her travel documents to the court, as well as to report to the nearest MACC office once a month.

"As the witnesses of this case are former colleagues of the accused, it is advised that she does not contact or disturb them until the case is settled," he said.

In mitigating bail, Hazlina, who pleaded not guilty to both charges, said she was a mother of five children aged between nine and 20 years old who were still studying.

Hazlina said she has since been promoted to student affairs assistant senior officer at a different school and earns more than RM8,000.

Sessions judge Zulhazmi Abdullah set bail at RM8,000 with one surety and told Hazlina to surrender all her travel documents to the court.

"You are to report to the nearest MACC office every month and are not allowed to disturb any of the witnesses in this case," he said.

Zulhazmi then set June 27 for case mention.

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