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Embezzling fund for poor students: Ex-teacher jailed

Published on: Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: A former teacher was jailed a total of two years and six months by the Special Corruption Court here Friday for embezzling and misusing RM4,250 from the Poor Student Trust Fund (KWAPM).

Judge Caroline Bee Majanil handed the sentence to Othman @ Awang Abd Wahid after he was found guilty of the main and alternative charges against him.

However, Majanil granted Othman's application for a stay pending appeal against the decision to the High Court.

On the first count, Othman was sentenced to two years' jail for committing criminal breach of trust (CBT) between March 2008 and 2009 at SK Pekan Tuaran.

The charge stated that Othman, who was the school's senior teacher handling student affairs, was entrusted with the KWAPM money in 2008.

He was convicted under Section 408 of the Penal Code which carries a jail term of between one year and 14 years and whipping, on conviction.

On the alternative charge, he was sent to prison for another six months for misappropriating the same money between March 2008 and 2009 at the same place.

Majanil ordered Othman to serve the jail sentences concurrently.

Before the court handed down the sentence, counsel P. J Perira applied for a lenient sentence, saying his client had been working as a teacher since 1980.

Perira also said Othman is suffering from asthma and that he needed to often undergo medical treatment.

But Prosecuting Officer Awang Shamsul Baharam from the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence on Othman.

Meanwhile, in the Magistrate's Court, a Filipina was fined RM529.60 in default two months behind bars for having 12 boxes of smuggled cigarettes.

Lajimah Suari, 54, admitted before Magistrate Zaiton Anuar to having the cigarettes at 10.25am on March 18 at the five-foot walk way in Kg Air, here.

After paying her fine or serving jail sentence, Lajimah was ordered referred to the Immigration Department.

Prosecuting Officer Janet S. Linggu from the Customs Department prosecuted.