KOTA KINABALU: Two state government employees pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here today to charges of accepting bribes to change the status of a piece of land in Kampung Bantayan near here, from ‘countryside’ to ‘residential’ zone three years ago.
On the first count, Athanasius John Malis, 58, was charged with receiving RM15,000 from Muhammad Hasri Lim Abdullah, 41, as an inducement to change the land status without approval from Central Town and Country Planning Board and the Kota Kinabalu City Council.
He was alleged to have committed the offence at the lower ground of the Karamunsing Complex, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman here, at 9.50 am on Sept 5, 2019.
He was charged under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) 2009.
For the second and third counts, Athanasius was alleged to have received RM15,000 and RM45,000 respectively from the same person for the same offence in a car at Wisma Tun Fuad Stephen and the D’Riverside food court, Sadong Jaya parking lots at 8.30 am and 11.25 am, on Sept 12, and Nov 20, 2019.
For those two offences, he was charged under Section 17 (a) of the MACC Act 2009.
Meanwhile, in the same court, Shahrum Radzlee Samlih, 38, was alleged to have received RM22,500 in cash from Athanasius as an inducement to sign a confirmation letter on the land status change.
He was accused of committing the offence in a car at the Grace Point food court parking lot, Jalan Pantai Sembulan, between 3.15 to 3.45 pm on Nov 20, 2019.
He was charged under Section 17 (a) of the MACC Act 2009.
Upon conviction, both the accused face imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.
Judge Abu Bakar Manat set bail at RM20,000 for Athanasius and RM15,000 for Shahrum with one surety each and fixed May 24 and 27 for mention of the case. — Bernama