KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Social media platform Twitter was flooded with comments minutes after news broke about former Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s guilty verdict in his RM2 million graft case this morning.
Most wondered whether Tengku Adnan, or popularly known as Ku Nan, would be released upon appeal.
Many others also asked if the former minister had been given a “better deal” or “good deal”.
Among the many who took to Twitter, lawyer and civil rights activist Syahredzan Johan drew comparison with another graft case in which Ku Nan was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) over a RM1 million corruption allegation.
According to news reports earlier this month, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will begin investigations into a new development raised by the prosecution in the corruption case.
In November 2018, Ku Nan was charged with receiving RM1 million from businessman Tan Eng Boon to approve an application by Nucleus Properties Sdn Bhd (now known as Paragon City Development Sdn Bhd) to increase the industrial plot ratio of a piece of land on Jalan Semarak.
But had he been charged for that graft case, Ku Nan could be facing a maximum of 20 years’ jail sentence.
“Ku Nan has been found guilty under Section 165 of the Penal Code which brings a maximum of two years’ jail sentence.
“Before this, the prosecutors did not continue prosecution against Ku Nan for another case, where under Section 24(1) of the MACC Act, it brings a maximum 20 years (jail sentence),” Syahredzan wrote on Twitter today.
Meanwhile, Twitter handle Syo @forsyo wrote that Ku Nan is likely quite happy that he had gotten a “good deal”.
“Two years jail vs 20 years jail.
“That’s why he threw a big kenduri prior, and in front of the Palace of Justice.”
Another Twitter handle S.G @ShazGhaF wrote, “Section 165 Penal Code = 2 years. Section 24 (1) MACC Act = 20 years. Does this mean that Ku Nan got off from a heavier punishment?”
A Twitter handle J Hon @jiajiunnhon has also expressed doubts that Ku Nan would actually have to serve any sentence.
“Anyone wanna bet it’s going to be appealed and #KuNan be walking free like #Najib? Just need to appeal, and delay, and appeal and delay again. When you are rich and power in #Malaysia, jail is just a joke.”
Others have even gone as far as to predict that Ku Nan will lose his parliamentary seat, affecting Perikatan Nasional’s 111 majority in Parliament.
“Later will be released. 111 vs 108. If Ku Nan loses his parliamentary seat, it will become 110 vs 108, that’s dangerous,” Twitter handle Kok Fu Sheng @fu_kok wrote.
Earlier today, Ku Nan was found guilty by the High Court on a charge of accepting a RM2 million bribe from a businessman in his capacity as then Federal Territories minister.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison and fined RM2 million in default of six months’ jail.
In delivering his judgment to a packed courtroom, High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said Tengku Adnan had failed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case after conducting a maximum evaluation of all the evidence tendered in court.
The conviction could also mean an end to Tengku Adnan’s political career in Malaysia, as it jeopardises his chances of participating in the next election and his disqualification as an elected representative.
Tengku Adnan was charged in his capacity as a public servant, with having received for himself a total of RM2 million from Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong, who is Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd (AKSB) director, via a Hong Leong Islamic Bank cheque belonging to the company which was deposited into a CIMB account owned by THSB, which Tengku Adnan has an interest in and is known to AKSB as being related to his official duties.
The Putrajaya MP was accused of committing the offence, under Section 165 of the Penal Code, at CIMB Bank Berhad of Pusat Bandar Damansara branch here on June 14, 2016.