KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 — Businessman Datuk Tan Eng Boon pleaded guilty to abetment today as an alternative to his initial charge of bribing former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
Deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim confirmed to the media that Tan had submitted the plea before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
“Yes, he pleaded guilty to an alternative charge.
“We are waiting for the sentencing in the afternoon,” said Julia.
Tan, a property development firm director, had on November 15 last year claimed trial to bribing Tengku Adnan with RM1 million through a Public Bank cheque of Pekan Nenas Industries Sdn Bhd deposited into the latter’s CIMB account.
The abetment charge was proffered under Section 109 of the Penal Code.
The offence was proffered under Section 165 of the same Code, which upon conviction can be punished with imprisonment up to two years, a fine, or both.
In Tan’s initial charge, the 70-year-old was accused of handing over a RM1 million bribe to Tengku Adnan, in the form of a Public Bank cheque from the company account of Pekan Nenas Sdn Bhd, that was deposited into the former minister’s CIMB Bank account.
The principle charge accused Tan of giving the bribe to obtain approval for an application by a company called Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd) to increase the plot ratio of the Lot 28 development along Jalan Semarak in the city centre.
His offence was then classified under Paragraph 16(b)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, an offence that carried the punishment of 20-years imprisonment or a fine five times the bribed amount.
His alternate charge reads as Tan abetting Tengku Adnan receive a bribe on behalf of the former minister, through the same transaction flows of the principle charge.
The court document read that it was known to Tengku Adnan that Tan, as a director the Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd), was someone related to his official duties.
The alternate charge detailed that the offence of bribery was committed as a result of Tan’s abetment with Tengku Adnan.
The latest charge, proffered under Section 165 of the Penal Code, upon conviction can be punished with imprisonment up to two years, a fine, or both.
Later during sentencing, Tan escaped jail time but was imposed a RM1.5 million fine by Mohd Nazlan, in default of one-year imprisonment.