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Eight medical assistant officers fined
Published on: Friday, February 09, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Eight medical assistant officers who were convicted Thursday of using false overtime allowance claims as genuine were advised to be honest when discharging their duties in future if no action is taken against them by their employer.

The eight, attached to the Ophthalmology Clinic in Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1, were fined a total of RM115,000 after they maintained their guilty plea.

Sessions Court Judge Abu Bakar Manat told the staff to view the sentence as a lesson.

"Everyone makes mistakes…sometime the mistakes we make will help us but sometimes it can also cause trouble to us, so make this as a lesson in your life.

"I hope all of you are going on the right track after this. If there is no action from your employer, please be honest in your work and don't take advantage.

"Your action (offence) not only affects yourself but your family members, too, as today (Thursday) all of you are punished. The offence committed by all of you also tarnishes the image of your department," Abu Bakar said.

He said this before handing down the sentence to Naza Fadirul @ Mick Ab Satar, 33, Jaduin Untop, 30, Terence Linchos, 38, Mohd Rosidih Mohd Saidi, 38, Zulkifli Arun, 28, Noor Salim Mohd Zin, 27, Mohd Akmal Hafiz Mohamad Ariff, 26, and Juraineh Musalim, 30.

They had, on Feb 1 this year, pleaded guilty to the alternative charges against them.

The eight had used false overtime allowance claims at the Sabah Accountant General's Department at Wisma Perindustrian, here, between Feb 1 and June 30, 2016.

Their fines were:

- Naza – RM4,000 fine or four months' jail each for first to fifth counts (total RM20,000), involving claims amounting to RM22,216.61.

- Jaduin – RM3,000 fine or three months' jail each for first and second counts, and RM4,000 fine of three months' jail each for third, fourth and fifth counts (total RM18,000) involving claims totalling RM19,992.63.

- Terence – RM3,000 fine or three months' jail for first count and RM3,500 fine for second to fifth counts or three months' jail each (total RM17,000) involving claims totalling RM18,829.44.

- Mohd Rosidih – RM3,000 fine or three months' jail each for first to fifth counts (total RM15,000) involving claims totalling RM16,696.10.

- Zulkifli – RM2,000 fine or three months' jail for first count and RM3,000 fine or three months' jail each for second to fifth counts (total RM14,000) involving claims totalling RM14,065.91.

- Noor Salim – RM2,000 fine or three months' jail for first count and RM2,500 fine or three months' jail each for second to fifth counts each (total RM12,000) involving claims totalling RM13,466.89.

- Mohd Akmal – first and second count fine of RM2,000 each, third and fourth count RM2,500 each and fifth count RM3,000, all in default three months' jail (total RM12,000) involving claims totalling RM12,842.26.

- Juraineh – first count fine of RM2,000, second and third count RM2,500 each, all in default three months' jail (total RM7,000) involving claims totalling RM8,647.40.

The offence under Section 471 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 465 of the same Code provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

The court had withdrawn the initial charges against Mohd Akmal and Naza under Section 28(1)(c) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Earlier, during mitigation, counsel Hairul Vyron, who defended Noor Salim and Mohd Akmal, urged for leniency saying they have families to look after.

Hairul told the court that both his clients had repented from their mistakes and promised to make up.

According to Hairul, his clients had written to the hospital to seek an apology and explanation on their act before they were investigated by MACC.

He added that Noor Salim and Mohd Akmal had done a lot to improve themselves to become better persons.

Hairul further submitted that by sentencing them heavily, it would be like destroying the likely good future for them and their family as they are still young in their career.

Meanwhile, counsel Ram Singh who was assisted by counsel Kimberly Ye, defending the rest, asked for a light sentence to be imposed on all his clients as all of them were very remorseful as it had served lessons to them and promised to not repeat such mistake in future.

Ram said his clients who were all first offenders wanted to remain as assistant medical officer so that they could continue to serve the community.

According to Ram, all his clients co-operated with the MACC officers and were held in MACC lock-up for a night to appear at court the next day to face all charges on Aug 24, 2017.

He also told the court that each of his clients also had received letters from the Disciplinary Board Chairman for Support Group (No 1) which stated to confirm their work-resistant orders under Rules 44(1)(a) effected from Aug 23, 2017.

Ram said the Disciplinary Board allowed his clients to receive only half of their monthly emolument during the period in which they were suspended and this order (work of suspension) would remain in force until they are notified of it by the board.

In reply, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Rozanna Abd Hadi together with DPP Rustam Sanip from the MACC urged the court to hand down an appropriate sentence to all of the accused persons.

She submitted that the eight are government servants in health sector and had claimed their overtime allowances by submitting false details.

"Their action had caused loss to the government in term of financial.

"Falsifying claim or using fake document were not a bribe directly offence but it involved a serious offence and very rampant nowadays," she said. - Cynthia D Baga

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