Former ministry sec-gen gets jail, fined RM3 mil for aiding son in graft

Former secretary-general of the rural and regional development ministry (KKLW) Mohd Arif Ab Rahman and his son Ahmad Zukhairi were allowed a stay of execution by the court. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former secretary-general of the rural and regional development ministry (KKLW) Mohd Arif Ab Rahman was sentenced to three years’ jail and fined RM3 million by the Sessions Court here today for abetting his son in accepting S$200,000 (RM627,636) in bribes relating to a rural electrification project in Sandakan, Sabah, two years ago.

Judge Azura Alwi who handed down the sentence, also ordered Arif, 61, to serve three more years in jail if he failed to pay the fine.

Arif’s son, businessman Ahmad Zukhairi, was sentenced to five years’ jail and fined RM9.6 million, in default 10 years jail, after the court found him guilty of four counts of soliciting and accepting bribes in 2016.

He was sentenced to five years’ jail and fined RM3 million for the first count; three years’ jail and RM6 million fine for the second count; two years’ jail and RM350,000 fine for the third count; and two years’ jail and RM250,000 fine for the fourth charge.

The court also ordered Zukhairi to serve the jail sentences concurrently from today.

In her judgment, Azura said the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case.

“In fact, the court found that the defence did not give an honest evidence in regard to the charges. The statement of defence was a mere denial,” she said.

Arif was charged with abetting his son to corruptly accept S$200,000 while he was still the rural and regional development ministry secretary-general, from Mohd Safian Mohd Salleh, a director of Syarikat Wazlina Sdn Bhd.

He accepted the money as gratification for the ministry’s approval of a contract worth RM57,500,000 through direct negotiations (design and build) of solar hybrid systems for a rural electrification project in four remote islands in Sandakan, Sabah, to be awarded to Syarikat Eramaz (M) Sdn Bhd.

Arif and Zukhairi committed the offence at Royal Lake Club, Jalan Cenderamulia, here on Aug 23, 2016.

Zukhairi was also charged with soliciting from Safian 2% of the value of the same project for himself during their meeting at Hotel Grand Dorsett, Subang Jaya, Selangor.

He was also charged with soliciting and accepting RM120,000 from Zul Fadli Rozi, as an inducement for him to help Syarikat HH Global Construction Sdn Bhd secure a project to build a three-storey recreational square at Persiaran Tasik Pengkalan Gawi, Tasik Kenyir, Hulu Terengganu.

Zukhairi committed the offences at Permai Golf & Country Club, Danau Permai Resort Bhd, No 1 Jalan 31/100A, Kota Kemuning, Seksyen 31, Shah Alam, Selangor and at Garden Course Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, No 3 Jalan Usahawan U1/8, Shah Alam, Selangor, between August and September 2016.

Azura, however, allowed a stay of execution of the jail sentence and fine for the duo pending appeal.

She also raised the bail for both accused to RM500,000 with one surety each and ordered them to surrender their passports to the court.

Deputy public prosecutor Irwan Shah Abdul Samat prosecuted, while both the accused were represented by counsel Afifuddin Hafifi.