PJ mayor orders probe after officers accused of asking for bribes

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PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Sayuthi Bakar has ordered internal investigations into an assemblyman’s claim that enforcement officers from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) had asked for bribes.

MBPJ councillor Derek Fernandez, who confirmed this, said he told the mayor last week of a video clip allegedly showing a MBPJ officer taking bribes from a shopkeeper.

“I understand an MACC report was lodged today by several people,” he said, referring to Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu’s report with the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“He (the mayor) has already commenced investigations in the department concerned,” he told FMT.

Adding that this is in addition to any other probes by law enforcement authorities, he said everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that due process must be followed in giving the accused the right to be heard.

Liu, who is also a Selangor DAP committee member, earlier accused the city council of blackmailing shop owners at a popular mall into paying bribes over illegal banners.

He said several officers from MBPJ threatened a businessman who operates a food outlet in the mall here after he was accused of putting up a bunting without approval.

Liu said the owner had put up the sign for a Hari Raya promotion and did not have time to apply for a permit.

He said enforcement officers told the owner that he could pay them several hundred ringgit to avoid a fine of RM1,000.

The owner eventually paid the bribe. The incident was caught on camera and has been circulating on social media.

Liu, a former Selangor exco in charge of local government, said four owners from the same mall had been similarly approached by council officers, and that some had paid the bribes.

Meanwhile, Selangor Local Government, Public Transportation and New Village Development Committee chairman Ng Sze Han said the MBPJ officer had been ordered to stop working in the field.

Ng said MBPJ had also been ordered to cooperate fully with MACC.

Adding that there is no place for corruption in the New Malaysia, he advised members of the public to report the matter immediately if they come across any such instances.