Former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was sentenced to 12 months in jail and fined RM2 million in default of six months’ imprisonment following his conviction earlier today of receiving the same amount from a businessman in 2016.
However, High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan granted Tengku Adnan’s application for a stay of execution for both the jail term and fine pending his appeal.
Zaini, who delivered the guilty verdict, said the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt, and that Tengku Adnan who is Putrajaya MP had failed to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case.
Tengku Adnan, popularly known as Ku Nan, had been charged in his capacity as a public servant with having received for himself a total of RM2 million from businessman Chai Kin Kong, who is Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd director, via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to the company which was deposited into a CIMB account owned by Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd, in which Tengku Adnan had an interest.
He was accused of committing the offence at the Pusat Bandar Damansara branch of CIMB Bank Bhd on June 14, 2016 and charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code which carries an imprisonment of up to two years, a fine or both upon conviction.
During mitigation, lawyer Tan Hock Chuan who led the defence team said his client was a first-time offender. He also said the offence was not a heinous crime.
“My client has contributed significantly to the nation, and he served in the Cabinet and Parliament for 17 years,” he said, asking for a non-custodial sentence with only a fine imposed.
He also asked that the fine be less than RM2,000 to allow Tengku Adnan to retain his qualification as an MP.
He urged the court to consider the current situation in Parliament, saying the government holds a slim majority and could be affected if Tengku Adnan were to be disqualified from his post as MP.
To this, Zaini said: “Should I be concerned with the political developments of this country?”
Tan said for the purpose of the court’s finding on the crime, he should not, but that the decision would have an effect for the purpose of sentencing.
“The court can take judicial notice. We say that it is a factor that the court can consider. The effect is not in isolation but cumulative with others,” he said.
The lawyer also spoke of his client’s medical issues including hypertension, high cholesterol and lung problems.
However, deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim said the application for a fine of less than RM2,000 to enable Tengku Adnan to continue as an MP was not an appropriate punishment.
“The amount in the charge is RM2 million and the accused previously stated that the RM2 million is just ‘pocket money’ for him.
“Every time there is an election, there will be changes. If the accused is not an MP, another person gets the opportunity to hold the post and serve the community,” she said.
She also told the judge that the fine should be no less than the amount in the charge.
However, Tan said his main grounds for requesting a non-custodial sentence was not his client’s future as an MP but rather his age and health.
Tengku Adnan turned 70 years old yesterday.
Zaini said Tengku Adnan was not the first high-ranking public servant and politician to be convicted of a crime.
“There have been others,” he said. “Everyone is equal before the law. I do not doubt that he has served the country for many years but the sentence must reflect the crime and be a deterrent to others.”