JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Johor state executive councillor Abdul Latif Bandi has been charged at the Sessions Court with 33 counts of graft.
Abdul Latif, who is the former Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman, was charged on Wednesday (April 19) under Section 28(1)(c) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.
He was charged along with one other person - Amir Sharifuddin Abdul Raub.
The two men face 33 charges each, involving some RM30 million (S$9.5 million) in total.
By 9am, the public gallery was packed with many people standing in the court room. However, 30 minutes later a court official ordered those standing to exit the court.
The case was prosecuted by MACC director Masri Mohd Daud, with Raja Amir Nasruddin assisting.
Bail was set at RM2 million each with one surety each. The accused were also ordered to surrender their passports.
Abdul Latif was arrested in February when he was called in for questioning over a massive housing and land scandal in Johor.
MACC officers seized an array of items at his home in Johor, including 150 luxury handbags, RM41,009 in cash and a luxury vehicle.
At the time, Abdul Latif was on leave from his position as a state exco member following a corruption investigation against his son Ahmad Fauzan and the exco man's special officer Muhammad Idzuan Jamalludin.
They were among six people arrested by the anti-graft busters in a swoop which saw dozens of luxury vehicles seized and bank accounts containing millions of ringgit frozen. Investigations revealed that the people received kickbacks from converting bumiputera housing lots to non-bumiputera lots, which can fetch much higher prices.
Bumiputera lots are reserved for Malaysia's ethnic Malay and indigenous community.