Ex-minister’s aide pleads not guilty to 6 counts of bribery amounting to RM106,500

Saifullah (left) arriving at the Sessions Court in Shah Alam today accompanied by his lawyer.

SHAH ALAM: A senior secretary to a former minister pleaded not guilty to six charges in the Sessions Court here today for accepting and soliciting RM106,500 in bribes from a company owner to secure an advertising tender under the tourism, arts and culture ministry.

Mohd Saifullah Mohd Minggu @ Mohd Hisham, 29, pleaded not guilty after the charges were read out to him before judge Rozilah Salleh.

The offences were allegedly committed at Temasya Anggun Glenmarie, Shah Alam, AmBank (M) Bhd in Bandar Puteri Puchong, Burger King in Kota Damansara and Petronas Dengkil, between Dec 21, 2018, until March 30, 2019.

The prosecution was conducted by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Asraf Mohamed Tahir while the accused was represented by lawyer Md Yunos Shariff.

Three out of the six charges involved Saifullah accepting cash amounting to RM90,000 from the owner of Inter Bev Network Sdn Bhd, Ronald Seto Kong Seng.

This was to help Inter Bev Network secure the branding and creative services tender for the Tourism Malaysia advertising campaign as well as the contract to purchase advertising space in North and East Asia.

The accused was also alleged to have promised Plan B Digital Sdn Bhd that he would secure the global advertising agency and promotion tender for Tourism Malaysia.

For the remaining three counts, Saifullah was charged with receiving bribes worth RM16,500 from Seto through Roslan Lahada for the deposit and rental of unit B-36-1 at Vipod Residences in Kuala Lumpur.

He allegedly received the payment through a Maybank cheque and is charged with committing all the offences under Section 16 (a)(B) of the MACC Act 2009.

The offences, punishable under Section 24 of the same act, carry a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of five times the value of the offence committed or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

The court allowed the accused bail of RM200,000, which was paid in the Sessions Court for the 18 charges made against Saifullah last month.

The judge also allowed all six charges to be transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for trial, along with the previous 18 charges.

Saifullah was the senior secretary to former tourism minister Mohamaddin Ketapi under the Pakatan Harapan administration.

On Aug 19, Saifullah pleaded not guilty in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for 18 counts of accepting and soliciting RM3.1 million in bribes from Seto.

His fiancée, Nurfadziana Abdul Kadir, 28, also pleaded not guilty to a charge of abetting Saifullah in the offence by accepting a bribe of RM232,000.