Former automotive company staff sentenced to seven days in prison and fined over RM 148,000 for corruption

KUALA LUMPUR: A former car company staff member was sentenced by a district court here to a total of seven days in prison and a fine of RM 148,200 for being bribed RM 21,940 in connection auto transactions at the company he worked for.

Cheah Kuang Ming, 39, was also ordered by Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi to serve an additional 53 months in prison if he does not pay the fine.

Cheah, who was the head of the company’s used car management, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of corruption involving a total of RM21,940.

According to the first through ninth count, Cheah was charged with corruptly receiving a total of RM 10,440 into his bank account through multiple people as a reward for ensuring that 10 cars from his former employer’s business were sold to four used car companies.

For count 10, Cheah was charged with corruptly receiving RM 5,500 from a car company as a reward for choosing that company to purchase multiple license plate numbers of vehicles that belonged to his. employer.

For the 11th and 12th counts, Cheah had received by corruption a payment of 2,400 RM and 3,600 RM from two different companies as a reward for ensuring that a computer consulting company, Syarikat Green Matrix Solution Sdn Bhd, became the main module system supplier and the main furniture supplier for the company he worked for.

The offenses were committed at Maybank Bukit Bintang, Jalan Sultan Ismail between July 16 and 22, 2019.

Cheah admitted all charges under section 16 (a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

He faced a maximum prison term of 20 years and a fine of at least five times the amount of the gratuity or RM 10,000, whichever is greater, upon his conviction.

During the mitigation, lawyer Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, who represented the defendant, told the court that his client’s guilty plea saved the court and the prosecution time.

He said Cheah supported his elderly parents with diabetes and hypertension.

“My client is unemployed now. He has been emotionally depressed since the case and has been in pre-trial detention for five days,” Mohamad Hanafiah said.

The lawyer said a long sentence would be inappropriate and asked the court to consider a one-day jail instead.

Deputy Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Laden argued that based on the case, the accused received commissions, which he should not have done.

“This (collection of commission) is illegal because it violates his employment contract. A day in prison and a fine are in the interests of the accused.

“We have to find a balance between the interest of the accused and good governance. The prosecution suggests one to two weeks imprisonment,” he said.

Judge Azura said the court must consider the public interest in the case and handed down a sentence that would serve as a lesson to society.

She sentenced Cheah to a prison term ranging from one day to seven days and a fine of RM 10,000 to 27,500 on each of the counts, for a total of RM 148,200.

The court ordered that the prison sentence be cumulated.