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, Tuesday): Jasin MP Mohd Said bin Yusof should not hid and seek refuge in Sarawak but return to Peninsular Malaysia to allow himself to be investigated by the ACA for his advice to Customs Department to “close one eye” in the enforcement of laws on import of sawn timber. I had lodged a report on 11 May 2006 (Report No. 23/2006) with the Melaka ACA that Mohd Said had clearly (mis)used his office or position under Section 15(2) of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997.
Mohd Said had tried to benefit from his position because he had admitted that he was asking Customs Department to “close one eye” from taking action on a matter which affected his company Binyu Sof Enterprise. Section 15(2) states that,
"any officer of a public body who uses his office or position for gratification when he makes any decision or takes any action in relation to any matter in which such officer has an interest, whether directly or indirectly, shall be guilty of an offence".
According to Melaka ACA, this is the only report lodged against Mohd Said as other reports were merely giving information. This offence under section 15(2) can on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than 14 days and not more than 20 years; and a fine not less than 5 times the sum or value of gratification or RM10,000 whichever is higher.
Since the press had quoted senior Anti-Corruption Agency officials as saying they would interview Mohd Said over the allegations of interference with Customs Department, it is important that Mohd Said give them full co-operation by allowing himself to be interviewed by ACA. He should not hide himself in Sarawak by pretending to be campaigning for BN.
No one knows where Mohd Said is campaigning nor understands what type of help he can offer to voters and BN with his type of record or background. DAP hopes that Mohd Said can actively campaign for SUPP candidates in Sibu and Bintulu as I am sure his presence would be welcomed by DAP candidates fighting for integrity, accountability, transparency and respect for rule of law.
Any failure of Mohd Said to return will only give the impression he is running away from the ACA by seeking refuge and hiding in Sarawak. Mohd Said has attracted public opprobrium for his infamous “one-eyed closed” advice to the Customs Department in enforcing laws on import of sawn timber. However Mohd Said is a symptom of the general malaise of sloth and sleaze affecting BN MPs and leaders.
The public strongly disagrees with the UMNO Supreme Council for saying that there is no case and with Melaka Chief Minister and UMNO Vice-President Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam saying that he is satisfied with Mohd Said’s explanation. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must realize that time is running out for his integrity and anti-corruption campaign. The public is watching closely how he handles this issue, which is a clear case of abuse of power and breaking the law for private benefit. As a first step, the Prime Minister should direct Mohd Said to immediately return home to face the ACA.