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Govt servant fined for corruptly accepting RM169,400 from contractor
Published on: Friday, February 26, 2021
By: Jo Ann Mool
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Rupia is seen outside the court after the proceedings.
Kota Kinabalu: A 50-year-old government servant was on Thursday fined RM20,000 or six months jail by the Sessions Court here for corruptly accepting RM169,400 from a contractor.

Judge Abu Bakar Manat meted out the sentence to Rupia @ Rubee Gindol, who pleaded guilty to receiving the money from one Berry Yong Soon, 35, at the CIMB bank in Api-Api Centre, here between 2018 and 2019.

The charge stated that Rupia as a Community Development Assistant at the Sabah General Welfare Services Department, received the money from Yong, who has relation to her official work at the said department.

Rupia was charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which has to do with public servants obtaining any valuable thing, without consideration, from person(s) in any proceeding or business transacted by such public servants.

The charge carries a jail term of up to two years or fine, or both, on conviction.

Rupia had on Jan 13, this year, changed her plea to guilty to the charge.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nartiah F Mirchelle Sambatan in tendering the facts of the case, told the court that in 2018 the General Welfare Services Department had offered several tenders for repair work on client houses in divisions and districts in Sabah.

Further, Rupia had contacted staff/officers at the Beaufort and Kota Kinabalu Division Welfare Offices as well as Penampang and Putatan Districts to ask the welfare officers to find qualified recipients to be given assistance within two weeks as payment for repairs must be completed before October 2018.

The court heard that Rupia also informed that if there was no contractor from the Divisional and District Welfare Office, she would get her own contractor.

As a result of Rupia assistance, all 10 tenders were later offered to a contractor named Berry Yong Soon Yun, said Nartiah.

Nartiah further said that all the 10 tender applications were also not brought to the Social Development Application Approval Committee Meeting and did not follow the procedures set by the Sabah General Welfare Services Department.

The court heard that Yong, has accepted and agreed to accept the offer of repair work for the department’s client houses by using companies owned by his friends in Beaufort Division, Kota Kinabalu and Penampang and Putatan districts.

In this regard, Yong has deposited RM169,400 through 54 transactions into a bank account under Rupia’s name through online transfer and that the first transaction was made on March 20, 2018 and the last transaction was made on Jan 16, 2019, said Nartiah.

Investigations also revealed that Rupia had helped Yong a lot to get the repair work and that Rupia also knew that Yong had a relationship with her official work at the State General Welfare Services Department.

Counsel Chong Kian Min, representing Rupia, requested for a leniency and applied for a fine only on the grounds, among others, that by pleading guilty she had saved the court time and that she has no previous conviction as it was her first offence.

Chong also applied for the court to consider that Rupia as a civil servant, has served more than 30 years and that with the conviction her career in the government will be terminated and that she would lose all her privilege including her pension.

Rupia has made one bad mistake and promised not to commit similar offence, said Chong, adding that, Rupia was haunted by regret and was remorseful of her action and also said that the incident occurred as she had a momentary lapse of judgement.

DPP Nartiah applied for a deterrent sentence on the grounds that the offence committed by Rupia had become a common practice among contractors and government servants in which an adequate sentence should be imposed to the offender as a lesson to Rupia and to public that such practice was illegal.

As a civil servant, Rupia was bound by rules regarding discipline and integrity, said Nartiah, adding that, Rupia was also given the trust by her department and public to comply with this rule but by committing the offence, she had betrayed the trust given to her.

Nartiah further said that Rupia earned wrong profit after committing the offence and that the sum was quite high. 



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