PUTRAJAYA: A former investigating officer told the Magistrate’s Court here today that he proposed no action to be taken against ex-Road Transport Department (RTD) deputy director-general (Planning and Operations) Yusoff Ayob, who was charged with driving on the emergency lane last year.
Zailani Zainal Abidin said the suggestion to his superiors came after he recorded a statement from Yusoff, 58, who said he (accused) was monitoring the massive traffic congestion along Lingkaran Putrajaya here as motorists were making a U-turn due to a collapsed bridge in the area.
During cross-examination by counsel Baljit Singh, who represented Yusoff, the witness said one of his superiors had agreed not to take action against the accused, but two other high-ranking officers of the department begged to differ.
“I proposed that no action was to be taken against him (Yusoff) and it was agreed by a superior. However, the other two top officials disagreed with my recommendation,” said the witness, who is now serving as RTD assistant enforcement officer in Wangsa Maju.
The fifth witness said this at the trial of Yusoff, who had pleaded not guilty to a charge of driving a car with the registration number BLY 68 on the emergency lane at Lingkaran Putrajaya about 6.27pm on Oct 7 last year.
The act is contrary to Rule 53(1) of the Road Traffic Rules 1959.
Yusoff, who was transferred to the Public Service Department (PSD) on July 21, was charged with committing the offence under Section 119(1)(C) of the Road Transport Act 1987 and punishable under Section 119(2) of the Act, which carries a fine not more than RM2,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, if found guilty.
When Baljit asked whether there was a kind of framing or malicious intention which led to the prosecution of his client, Zailani said he was not sure of that.
Baljit: How long have you been serving with the RTD?
Witness: 13 years.
Baljit: Over 13 years (of experience) with the RTD, did you not find it weird that you were assigned to record a statement of your top officer, namely a deputy director-general of (planning and) operations?
Witness: A bit.
During re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan, Zailani said Yusoff told him (witness) that he (Yusoff) was driving on the emergency lane to find out the real situation of the massive traffic congestion along the stretch.
The first witness of the trial, Ahmad Zaid Kamarul Awang, who is RTD assistant enforcement officer, said he was assigned by his superior to take pictures of vehicles along the stretch during peak hours, in a pictorial complaint operation.
In a reply to a question by Baljit, he said he was not aware that Yusoff was conducting surveillance and driving on the lane.
Baljit: Do you or do you not know that as an RTD Operations deputy director-general, Yusoff has the authority to conduct road monitoring or enforcement (as stipulated) under the Road Transport Act? Do you agree?
Witness: Yes, agreed.
Zaid also told the court that he was at the scene for two-and-a-half hours and had taken 20 pictures of the black Proton Inspira car which Yusoff was travelling in, using his mobile phone.
However, he said that he was not aware that Yusoff was in the vehicle.
“Of the 20 images, only eight or nine were clear,” said the witness, who also said that he was at the scene with another colleague who was carrying a camera supplied by the department.
Responding to the prosecution’s question, Zaid said there were no standard operating procedures (SOPs) set for enforcement officers using the department’s camera when conducting such a pictorial complaint operation.
The prosecution today closed the case after calling five witnesses on the first day of the trial.
Magistrate Muhammad Zaki Abd Kudos set tomorrow afternoon to hear submissions from both parties.