9 December 2020
An immigration officer who admitted taking RM12,000 to speed up the remand process of two foreigners from China was reprimanded by a Sessions Court judge before being sentenced to 30 days’ jail.
The officer was also fined RM20,000.
“People who bribe others and accept bribes will burn in hell. Always remember this. This is also a reminder for myself and also everyone else in this court,” said judge Rozilah Salleh.
She handed down the sentence to Zalizi Ismail, 26, after the accused pleaded guilty to committing the offence.
Though, Zalizi had been charged under Section 165 of the Penal Code, which makes it an offence for a public servant to obtain any valuable thing from any person in any proceeding or business transacted by the public servant and not under any provision of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, the offence is related to bribery.
The offence carries a maximum jail term of two years or a fine or both, upon conviction.
Rozilah had also reprimanded Zalizi for failing to carry out his duty fairly and failing to uphold the trust given to him by the Immigration Department to monitor the entry points into the country.
She said, instead of fulfilling his responsibilities, Zalizi had released foreign detainees at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang.
“With this guilty plea, you will be punished in this world and I pray that this will be a kifarah (compensation) for you in the hereafter.
“Some people were caught many times but still did not admit to the offence although there is evidence against them,” she said.
When the proceeding ended, Zalizi wept while being consoled by his family members who were present in the courtroom.
He earlier pleaded guilty to accepting RM12,000 in his capacity as an Immigration officer from one Chu Wing Kong.
Zalizi had committed the offence in his capacity as the assistant investigating officer at the Immigration Department (Operations Division) in KLIA.
The money was purportedly for the purpose of expediting the process of the remand of two China nationals, namely Zhou Guifang and Zhu Xiangliang, and to release them to return to China.
He committed the offence at a café of a petrol station in klia2, Jalan Terminal KLIA, in Sepang, Selangor at 7.37pm on Dec 2.
Based on the facts of the case, both the China nationals were detained during an Immigration inspection at the Departure Hall on the fourth floor of the main terminal building of KLIA on Nov 29, after being suspected of overstaying in the country.
They were subsequently remanded for 14 days until Dec 12.
The accused had then contacted Chu and asked for RM12,000, to speed up the process to release the two foreign nationals so that they could return to their country in two weeks time.
In pleading for leniency, the unrepresented accused said he has repented and regretted all his wrongdoings.
He pleaded for only a fine to be imposed on him.
“I plead that the court does not send me to jail as I have a year-old child and my wife to care for. I am also looking after my father and two siblings who are still studying.
“This is my first offence and I plead for the court to give me a fine. My starting salary is only RM1,460,” he said.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutor Fadhli Ab Wahab urged for a deterrent sentence saying that the public’s interests needed to be considered in sentencing due to the serious nature of the offence committed by the accused.
Fadli said being only less than two years in service with the Immigration Department, Zalizi was already involved in corruption which involved a huge amount of money.
“The accused should be jailed as a reminder for others not to commit such offences,” he said.
The court then ordered the accused to serve four months’ jail if he fails to pay the fine.