Man gets 4 weeks' jail for trying to bribe cop

Despite being rejected by a police officer, a Malaysian construction worker persisted in offering a $30 bribe to him, going so far as to stuff the cash into the officer's trouser pocket.

Yesterday, Sang Jia Weng, 30, was jailed for four weeks for corruptly offering "coffee money'' to Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Zulkifli Dzahari in exchange for not issuing him a summons.

He had been stopped for not securing his helmet strap while riding his motorbike along an expressway.

SSgt Zulkifli was on patrol duty along Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) on Jan 11 this year when he saw Sang riding in the centre lane with a loose helmet strap.

He signalled him in a bid to get him to stop at the road shoulder along the BKE.

There, SSgt Zulkifli told Sang in Malay that he would issue him a summons for not securing his helmet strap while riding. The payment would be $120.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nathaniel Khng said Sang pleaded with the officer for leniency, telling him that he was only earning $80 a day and had not received any salary for several days.

He then offered "coffee money'' of $30 to SSgt Zulkifli not to issue him the summons. SSgt Zulkifli rejected him and said that he would still issue the summons.

Despite this, Sang repeated his offer of coffee money. He took out three $10 bills from his wallet and stuffed them inside the left pocket of SSgt Zulkifli's trousers.

The officer then handcuffed Sang and placed him under arrest.

Urging the court to impose at least three weeks' jail, DPP Khng said this was a case of a person who offered a bribe to a public officer in an attempt to persuade him to act against duties which he had pledged to carry out faithfully.

"It is well established that all such offences are viewed as very serious and will be met with a custodial sentence to deter like- minded persons from doing something similar," he said.

The present case was aggravated by the fact that Sang offered the bribe, not once, but twice.

Furthermore, not only did he offer the bribe, he even forced the officer to take it, and it was to the officer's credit that he immediately placed Sang under arrest.

Sang could have been fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years for corruption.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2017, with the headline 'Man gets 4 weeks' jail for trying to bribe cop'. Print Edition | Subscribe