KUALA LUMPUR ― Former Johor state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Latif Bandi was charged at the Sessions Court today with 33 counts of corruption involving RM30 million over a housing and land scandal in the state.
The Star Online reported that Abdul Latif, who used to helm the Johor Housing and Local Government Committee, was charged under Section 28(1)(c) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.
Section 28(1)(c) prohibits the abetting or engagement in a criminal conspiracy to commit any offence under the Act.
Abdul Latif was reportedly charged with a property consultant named Amir Sharifuddin Abdul Raub. Both face 33 charges each.
National newswire Bernama reported that Abdul Latif was charged with conspiring with Amir to receive bribes from several individuals in order to obtain approval for the release of some Bumiputera housing lots to the public, as well as to reduce payment in contribution to the Johor Housing Fund for the Pulai Eco Botanic project.
Amir was reportedly charged with obtaining bribes from several individuals for himself and for Abdul Latif for the same purpose.
Bail was set at RM2 million each. Abdul Latif was represented by Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican.
The MACC arrested Abdul Latif last month after nabbing six individuals, including Abdul Latif’s son and Abdul Latif’s special officer, in February for corruption.
MACC also froze 45 bank accounts valued at RM15.5 million and seized 21 luxury cars, five high-powered motorcycles, RM500,000 in cash including foreign currencies as well as documents to assist investigations.
The Malay Mail reported last February that Abdul Latif’s son, Ahmad Fauzan Hatim, and Abdul Latif’s special officer, Muhammad Idzuan Jamalludin, were allegedly in cahoots with civil servants from the Johor Land Office and other government departments in lowering the premium of land which had been approved for housing and industrial projects, as well as in converting the titles of various premises in the state.
This had resulted the state government losing millions of ringgit.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin announced an exco reshuffle last month, with Mahkota assemblyman Datuk Md Jais Sarday taking over Abdul Latif’s portfolio of housing and local government.