Malaysian businessman pleads not guilty to bribery in exchange for not detaining Muhyiddin’s son

Former Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin was himself charged in March with abuse of power and money laundering. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR – A businessman known as “Datuk Roy” and a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer were charged at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday for allegedly soliciting a RM400,000 (S$117,500) bribe in an investigation involving the son of former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Mohd Hussein Mohd Nasir, 54, also known as Datuk Roy, was jointly charged alongside Mohd Rasyidi Mohd Said, 43, with soliciting for themselves a bribe from a Ms Siti Dalena Berhan to not detain Mr Fakhri Yassin Mahiaddin when the latter was being investigated by the MACC.

The offence was allegedly committed at a steakhouse in Lorong Kurau, Bangsar, around 9-11pm, on March 5.

Mr Fakhri, who is the son of Muhyiddin, was never arrested by the anti-corruption body.

Muhyiddin, the president of the opposition Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), was himself charged in March with abuse of power and money laundering, following other party leaders who have been charged in connection with the Jana Wibawa programme to stimulate economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hussein is believed to be the mastermind of an MACC case linked to the programme.

Jana Wibawa was introduced by Muhyiddin’s administration and aimed at improving the capacity of Malaysian indigenous contractors in the construction sector to spur Malaysia’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

Hussein and Rasyidi also faced a second charge of allegedly receiving a RM240,000 bribe as an inducement to not detain Mr Fakhri during the investigation.

The second offence was allegedly committed at a fast-food restaurant in Desa Sri Hartamas in Kuala Lumpur around 2-4pm, on March 6.

The two face imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Hussein and Rasyidi claimed trial to the charges on Thursday.

Hussein also faced another charge where he was accused of soliciting for himself a bribe of RM2 million in Kampung Melayu Kepong in February.

The bribe was said to be an inducement to have the investigating authority proffer a lesser charge, to change the testimony of the accused to the witness, and to reduce the bail money involved in the MACC’s probe involving Segambut Bersatu deputy chief Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad.

He pleaded not guilty to the second charge.

MACC prosecuting officer Selvam T. Armugom and deputy public prosecutor Nor Diana Nor Azwa offered bail between RM10,000 and RM15,000 in one surety for each of the accused and asked the court to impose an additional condition for the men to report themselves to the nearest MACC office on a monthly basis.

Hussein was granted bail of RM15,000 for all his charges while Rasyidi was granted bail at RM10,000. Both men were also required to surrender their passports in addition to reporting at the court on a monthly basis.

The case will next be heard in court on July 7. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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