Malaysia arrests more government officers for corruption

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is cracking down on wrongdoers within government agencies, with the arrest of several Land and Survey Department officers who gave discounts on land premiums for bribes.

This comes after the arrests of a state Customs director and 11 other Customs officers for corruption involving smuggling after over a year of surveillance on the duty free zone in Port Klang.

MACC intelligence division director Datuk Azam Baki confirmed the arrest on Wednesday of several Land and Survey Department officers, who accepted bribes from a construction material supplier to leak documents regarding the sale of a 9.3ha piece of Government land in Kota Kinabalu.

A source said that the 62-year-old supplier acted as the middleman between the buyer of the land and "exacted influence on the Land and Survey Department" to shave off RM1.1 million (S$433,521) from the premium.

"The supplier was also arrested...All are being detained for questioning," the source said.

"The supplier is understood to have taken up to RM300,000 in bribes to secure a 'discount' in land premiums."

The source said the actual premium of the land was valued at RM2.75 million, but the buyer only paid RM1.65 million - through dealings with the supplier and department officers.

"We believe the supplier has been involved in more fraud cases and the arrests within the department is just a small part of what will be a bigger investigation," the source said.