20 Dec 2010

Ex-Immigration deputy D-G jailed 56 years, to serve only six

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — Former Immigration Department deputy director-general Yusof Abu Bakar was sentenced today to a total of 56 years in jail for 14 counts of corruption.But he will only serve six years because the sentences run concurrently.Yusof , 56, was found guilty last Thursday of 14 counts of corruption for accepting RM121,500 in bribes to extend the social visit passes of Chinese nationals two years ago.

Each charge carries a four-year prison sentence but Sessions Court judge Abu Bakar Katar ordered the sentences to run concurrently.He was also fined RM620,000.Yusof’s successful prosecution could give a boost to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in its campaign to reverse poor public confidence.

The MACC has faced public criticism over a slew of losses in court, and has also been accused by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians of selective prosecution.In recent months the anti-graft agency has brought to court former Transport Minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo.But the jury is still out on whether the MACC can win over the public.Yusof’s conviction comes after the MACC recently denied that it was only going after minor officials and politicians.

His offences were committed at various locations here, in Petaling Jaya and at his office in Putrajaya between March 21, 2008 and July 7, 2008.Malaysia’s score in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) this year has been “far from flattering,” according to government officials.According to this year’s CPI, Malaysia’s score had dipped from 4.5 to 4.4 out of 10, with 10 being the least corrupt.
The country’s ranking, however, remained the same as last year and stayed at the 56th position of 178 countries.

In October the MACC lost a case in court against Yusof’s former boss when former Immigration director-general Datuk Wahid Md Don, accused of pocketing RM60,000 in return for speeding up visa approvals for foreign workers, was acquitted.The MACC is appealing the acquittal.Its recent high-profile prosecutions appear to be part of efforts to mend its tattered public image sustained during Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan’s stewardship.Ahmad Said, who was the MACC’s first chief commissioner “retired” under a cloud over the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock, whose inquest is still ongoing.

Source : http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/graft-ex-immigration-deputy-d-g-jailed-and-fined/

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