The sentence of 12 months’ jail and a fine of RM2m, along with the guilty verdict for former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Mansor represents a laudable step towards the cleaning up of corruption in the country. The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) commends the judiciary for the verdict.
To quote High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, Tengku Adnan had used his personal company Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd to “enjoy the fruit of crime”.
However, C4 Center also agrees with the sentiment of the Attorney General’s Chambers about the possibility of an inadequacy of the sentence against Tengku Adnan. It was revealed that the Attorney General’s Chambers is studying the judgment following Tengku Adnan’s filing of an appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Still, as much as Tengku Adnan has the right of due process for the guilty verdict on the case of accepting RM2m from businessman Chai Kin Kong four years ago, the verdict is merely the tip of the iceberg. The former minister was also embroiled in a corruption case of RM1m, which saw Tengku Adnan getting a discharge not amounting to acquittal, not to mention other cases under the watch of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s watch.
That the case resulted in a discharge not amounting to an acquittal leaves questions unanswered, and the case should be reopened to fully bring to light any misconduct by the former minister while setting a further precedent that any acts of corruption from those in office will no longer be tolerated or allowed to be swept under the rug.
Tengku Adnan’s role in several other controversial mega projects, including Desmond Lim’s proposed Pavilion Taman Tun at Taman Rimba Kiara and the distinctly expensive Bangsar-Damansara elevated highway project should also be investigated further.
Despite his denials of any improper dealings and engagements with companies related to property tycoon Desmond, it is a series of amazing coincidences that have happened. Tengku Adnan’s Tadmansori Holdings secured 20% effective ownership of Sering Manis, the project company of the Pavilion Genting Highlands project, which in turn is linked to Desmond Lim himself. It also seems a major coincidence that Tengku Adnan’s brother, Tengku Rethwan, also appointed a director of Sering Manis.
As such, C4 Center calls for the MACC to carry out a further investigation into Tengku Adnan’s RM1m discharge not amounting to acquittal graft case, as well as continued investigation into the Taman Rimba Kiara and the Bangsar-Damansara elevated highway project cases.
By proving beyond reasonable doubt his involvement in the RM2m corruption case, perhaps the other cases that Tengku Adnan is involved in should be fully investigated and tried in court to bring the truth to light, especially in the pursuit of cleaning up corruption in Malaysia.
The verdict also brings to light the importance of independent institutions in ensuring that justice is served, and corrupt politicians must never see a welcome in the corridors of power.