A government lawyer accepts a bribe of RM700,000. His punishment is a light rap on the knuckles. Is this another Malaysian joke? Is justice for sale to the highest bidder?

The full article can be read in FMT.

Here are the salient points.

A senior federal counsel who accepted bribes amounting to RM700,000 on three occasions last year has been fined RM130,000 and jailed for a day by the sessions court here.

Lim Cheah Yit, 43, who was previously attached to the Penang prosecutor’s office, was charged with three counts of bribery on July 6, 2020, under Section 16 (a) (B) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009. He was granted bail of RM20,000.

On 5 August, he pleaded guilty to the charges, but under Section 165 of the Penal Code.

  • In the first charge, Lim was accused of soliciting RM500,000 from Goh Kim Heong on March 8, 2020.

The bribe was said to be an inducement to influence the Penang prosecution director to charge one Chan Eng Leong under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

He allegedly solicited the bribe at the Gurney Paragon Mall in George Town.

  • In the second charge, Lim was accused of receiving RM100,000 from Goh for the same reason. He admitted to having done so at the MACC office in Alor Setar, Kedah on March 18, 2020.
  • In the third count, Lim was charged with receiving RM100,000 for the same reason, also from Goh, at AC Hotel in Bayan Lepas on June 1.

Sessions judge Ahmad Zahari Abdul Hamid fined Lim RM50,000 for the first charge, RM40,000 for the second and RM40,000 for the third. He also ordered Lim to be imprisoned for a day for each of the three charges, which was to run concurrently.

Lim paid the fine and was sent to the Jawi prison to serve his one-day sentence.

My comments as rakyat biasa.

A lawyer accepts a bribe, receives a relatively tiny fine and is jailed for one day. Is this punishment supposed to be a deterrent?

One day at the Jawi prison is like going to a boot-camp. Perhaps a boot-camp is more torture than the Jawi prison. At the boot camp, one undergoes rigorous physical training and is deprived of home comforts.

  1. As a senior counsel, he set a bad example.
  2. Next time anyone goes to court, how can that person trust the laywer, the judge, or any court official? One can at least trust the cicak on the ceiling. We know he will eat flies, and he will not makan rasuah, but the humans in court, how?
  3. The bribery charges that were mentioned in court are the ones we know about. Are there any others that were successfuly hidden away?
  4. What is RM130,000 fine to a lawyer who is prepared to accept several times that amount of money in bribes? It is like telling a corrupt politician who has stolen several hundreds of millions of ringgits of taxpayer’s money to pay a RM1 million fine. He has plenty more stashed away.
  5. Jailing the corrupt lawyer for ONE day is NOT a deterrent. Others have been fined and jailed longer for a lesser charge.
  6. Is this corrupt lawyer free to practise law again? Has he been struck-off, or disqualified, or whatever the proper definition is reserved for lawyers.

Perhaps someone with legal training can enlighten us

Is it any wonder that few Malaysians trust the law, the police, the civil service, the institutions, the ministries, and anything linked to the government.

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3 Comments

  • Robert says:

    The prosecution should have appealed against the sentences imposed to demonstrate to the world that there is true justice in Malaysia.

    But I will not be surprised if part of the “profit” of close to RM600000 went to somebody else’ pocket.

    This is after all, Malaysia, Truly Asia

    • Paul Wolfobitch says:

      “Malaysia, Truly Asia”

      How so?

      Is “Asia” destined to be “Asia” because there’s something the matter with Asians?

      Asian corruption, etc worse than Western corruption, etc?

      Asians are born corrupt, etc and have racially faulty defects, or what?

      Singapore, for one, comes down heavily on corruption.

      South Korea sent its previous president to 24 years in prison for corruption and abuse of power, later increased to 25 years.

      The US has a long string of utterly corrupt (and depraved) politicians who their corrupt system has yet to do anything about.

      There’s no end of condemnation of UK’s Boris Johnson and his gomen for corruption and abuse of power.

      By no means are the US and the UK the only corrupt Western countries.

      Or corruption their only problems.

  • Paul Wolfobitch says:

    It is actually rather common in the legal fraternity the mercenaries help their “professional colleagues”.

    That this case is obscene is beside the point, there’s no moral in the legal industry, you can masturbate law all over the place and nonstop – but you can’t bring up moral.

    Sometimes it is a shame we haven’t got syariah for all, kafirs included, the clown would have his hands chopped off. And his story would have been more interesting – we all feel sorry for him… worse still, we can’t crowdfund him for those amazing bionic arms…

    Meanwhile, there are all sorts of stories during this frog spawning season, politicians are asking for convictions to be overturned, cases to be overlooked or under looked, marked NFA, something like that…

    If Malaysia has honest and decent lawyers – and a straight judiciary, nearly all the work would involve our political crooks and thugs.

    And lawyers would have their lifetime of plenty of work, no need to steal money.

    Incidentally, if lawyers ask for funds for their retention/”retainer”, demand a cut in the interest rate earned from their supposed storing the fund in their safe. They don’t. They bank in your money in their name.

    They don’t like it one bit when you do so, but you are perfectly entitled to any profit from your own money, I do that all the time, fcuk the lawyers’ thieving practice.

    Our hempen homespun look at lawyers and get overwhelmed.

    I look at a lawyer and I see a thief.

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