Newspaper’s assistant manager charged over RM20,000 bribery

KUALA LUMPUR: An assistant manager of English daily The Star pleaded not guilty at the sessions court yesterday to allegedly receiving a RM20,000 bribe to be given to a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer to settle a case.

M. Youganesparan, 54, was charged with receiving the bribe from Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, 54, at Dome Cafe, Lot G20, Vista Power, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak at about 9.15pm on May 30.

He faces imprisonment of 20 years or a fine of five times the bribe amount.

Judge Madihah Harullah granted bail of RM30,000 in one surety and ordered his passport to be surrendered to the court and fixed July 7 for mention.

Deputy public prosecutor Siti Syakimah Ibrahim prosecuted while lawyer G. Shankar represented the accused.

Earlier, Siti Syakimah said the offence is non-bailable but proposed bail of RM50,000 if the court decides to use its discretion under the law.

She also asked the court to impose additional bail conditions, which are to order the accused to surrender his passport to the court and report to the MACC office once a month.

Shankar said the amount is excessive and asked for a lower sum as the accused's spouse, who is a housewife, is the bailor.

"There is minimum risk of him absconding or leaving the country," said Shankar, adding that the amount involved in the case is RM20,000.

He said the accused is a Malaysian and is married with two children who are studying in Malaysia and that this is the first time he is being charged in court.

Shankar also asked for Youganesparan's passport not to be impounded as the accused travels for work purposes.

Youganesparan was detained by an MACC team at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur at about 9.30pm last week.