KUALA LUMPUR: A businessman with a “Datuk Seri” title has pleaded not guilty in the sessions court to charges of soliciting and receiving RM15 million from a fellow businessman to secure projects from the home ministry.
Sim Choo Thiam was slapped with four charges under Section 16(a)(B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.
For the first charge, Sim was said to have demanded RM15 million from Hep Kim Hong some time in June 2021 at Jalan Dutamas 1 here.
The prosecution said the sum was meant as an inducement for then home minister Hamzah Zainudin to assist Hep’s company, Asia Coding Sdn Bhd, in securing projects from his ministry.
Sim was also handed three other charges involving the receipt of RM15 million in cash from Hep between July 19 and July 31, 2021.
If found guilty, he faces a jail term of up to 20 years’ and a fine no less than five times the alleged sum for each of the offences.
Judge Rozina Ayob granted bail of RM1 million to Sim and ordered him to surrender his passport to the court, pending disposal of his case.
The court fixed June 14 for the next mention of the case.
Sim was represented by lawyers Kee Wei Lon, Low Wei Loke and Hannah Kam, while deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib appeared for the prosecution.