23 December 2020
Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, 70, is the treasurer-general of Umno, the biggest party in Malaysia’s ruling Nasional alliance. He was sentenced to a year in jail and fined RM 2million after he was convicted of corruption by Malaysia’s High Court yesterday. He accepted a gratification of RM 2 million from a local businessman in 2016 when he was a minister in the federal government.
High Court Judge said that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. He dismissed Tengku Adnan’s claims of political persecution in the case.
Only a week ago Tengku Adnan was discharged from another corruption trial by the High Court over a charge of accepting RM 1 million gratification from another businessman, Tan Eng Boon, who entered a guilty plea for bribing the minister, and was fined RM1.5 million for the offence.
High Court also allowed the stay application made by Tengku Adnan. The stay application is pending disposal of Tengku Adnan’s appeal against the conviction and sentencing at the Court of Appeal. Adnan can continue to be a federal MP and treasurer of UMNO until his appeal is determined by the Court of Appeal.
The judge acknowledged Tengku Adnan’s contributions to the country and his constituents, as submitted by the defence lawyer during the mitigation. “The foremost consideration in deciding the appropriate sentence, however, is the public interest. The sentence must reflect the gravity of the offence committed. It must also serve as a deterrent to not just the accused, but also others from committing a crime of this nature,” the judge said. said.
Only a day before the judgement, on his 70th birthday, Tengku Adnan hosted a grand drive-through reception for 10,000 guests to his son’s Javanese-themed wedding. The guests then collected their food packs at a tent set up nearby by winding down their vehicles’ windows.
The Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center), an NGO, welcomed the guilty verdict of Adnan but said that this is only a tip of the iceberg. It highlighted that RM1 mil corruption case where he was given a discharge not amounting to acquittal and a slew of other cases under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) watch. It noted that the RM1mill corruption case should be reopened to fully bring to light any misconduct from the former minister. According to the C4 Centre, Adnan’s role in several other controversial mega projects, including Tan Sri Desmond Lim Siew Choon’s proposed Pavilion Taman Tun at Taman Rimba Kiara and the distinctly expensive Bangsar-Damansara elevated highway project should also be investigated further.
(US$ 1 = RM 4)
The Malaysian Reserve reported.