Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sultan and the philanthropic tycoon

Bribery

(n) Bribery is the practice by which a person who can take decision or action on behalf of others by virtue of his authority or position is influenced by paying or offering monetary benefits for influencing him to take an action or decision which he would not have done otherwise. Eg. Offering money to the police officer to record a wrong verification report

With updates at the end of the story!
Duit raya, Tuanku, atau tumbuk rusuk Raja? On the eve of Hari Raya, the Sultan of Johor granted an audience inside the Istana Tanjung in Muar to a Malay Dato' who came as emissary of a gentleman widely known for his great philanthropic ways.
This emissary, a 54-year man from Taman Melawati, KL, carried with him a briefcase. Officials from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) summoned to the Istana later discovered RM1 million in cash inside the bag. The unfortunate and bewildered gentleman spent his Hari Raya in detention. 
A statement was later taken from the philanthropic tycoon, who could be facing a charge of trying to bribe the Sultan.
A story involving the Royalty such as this one, however, can never be so straight forward: there is always a story within a story, a sub-plot, or a history of bad blood, perhaps.This blog has reported several incidents involving the Palace - all with great caution, of course, and all without fear or favor - and has never failed to be amazed with the players, and the outcome of each one.
I've learnt, for example, that the emissary told investigators that the Istana had prior knowledge  that he was coming with the "duit raya" for the Sultan to disburse to his Rakyat. (Duit raya has become customary for Aidil Fitri celebrations: Prime Minister Najib Razak, for example, is said to have attended to 100,000 well-wishers during the first day of Hari Raya and gave angpows to children and the elderly among them and a Yang di Pertuan Negeri said he gave out ang-pows to some 10,000 people who came to wish him Selamat Hari Raya. So you can imagine how busy a Sultan would be on Hari Raya, especially if the Sultan is as people-friendly as the Sultan of Johor).
The philanthropic tycoon has also told investigators of his "good intentions". In fact, his emissary had on his person a letter from him to the DYMM Tuanku Sultan stating the tycoon's intention to donate a certain amount of money for a number of years to a Fund in the name  and memory of the Sultan's late father. 
So was it really an attempt to bribe the Sultan? If so, what was the purpose of the bribe? To help the businessman get a project, a piece of land, a valuable license in return? To get him a title bigger than his Tan Sri-ship?
The Sultan's official powers and duties are confined to the business of Islam and matters pertaining to adat-istiadat Melayu. The Sultan does not have powers to grant business projects or licenses or land. He cannot influence the Police, the MACC, the courts of law, etc. (Note: The Sultan of Johor does have its own army, though, and this is provided for under the Johor constitution).

So what kind of favors could anyone possibly hope to get from a DYMM Sultan?
This is the question the MACC is asking. This case will set the precedence as to whether one ought to be charged with bribery if one meets the Sultan bearing gifts. See the definition of bribery above.
Either way, unfortunately, this case will also train the limelight once again on the conduct of the Palace vis-a-vis the business world, the administration of the State, etc. God knows there have been quite a few controversies lately already. But at least, what's clear (to me) in this case is that the new Sultan of Johor is establishing himself as an absolute no-nonsense when it comes to situations which may raise suspicions about his and the palace's integrity. That is awesome.
It also means that if any businessman is approached by anyone claiming to represent the Istana and demanding favors on behalf of the DYMM Sultan, call in the MACC. Because Sultan Ibrahim is not that kind of Sultan.

UPDATES:
Adakah angkara "Tuan Penasihat"? oleh Zakhir Mohamad, blogger anak jati Johor ...

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Then MACC check if our PM use the money from government funds, PM personal income or someone donation? Really worry if we cannot differentiate donation with bribery!

Zamri ppbss

Anonymous said...

Latuk, the way you wrote it is no difference as to say that the late Sultan is not like his son who is as an absolute no-nonsense. Care to share and open some can of old worms?

Ahirudin Bin Attan said...

Anon 11.41,

On the contrary, my friend. There's a saying in Malay, "kemana tumpah kuah kalau tak ke nasik". We all inherit the good things from our parents. I'm sure you do, too.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:41, Tuanku Sultan Iskandar is a straight shooter, if you don't know, consider this your education

Raja adil tak disanggah said...

Dato Rocky,

1. Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Dzahir Batin.

2. Maka diGooglekan, http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/2/28/business/20080228164812&sec=business

Ada 4 dermawan atau philanthropist tersohor Malaysia, yang terkemuka sekali ialah:

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary
Syed Mokhtar, 56, is founder and sole donor of a Muslim charity, Albukhary Foundation that assists the needy.

Established in 1996, the foundation funds remedial classes in English, science and math for 20,000 underachieving students each year and runs a college scholarship program for 300 students from more than 40 countries.

The other 3 are Hishamudin Ubaidulla, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and Datuk Amar Leonard Linggi Tun Jugah.

Anonymous said...

Latuk, "Kemana tumpah kuah kalau tak ke nasik" is no longer hold since 53 years ago.

See the Bapa Tun Dr M is an Indian but Tun Dr M is a Malay.

Anonymous said...

Rocky, after reading this I am sure you are a gun for hire.

Anonymous said...

Latuk, "Kemana tumpah kuah kalau tak ke nasik" is no longer hold since 53 years ago.

See the Bapa Tun Dr M is an Indian but Tun Dr M is a Malay.

1:46 PM

Anonymous, they said the Malay gene is very strong. You've presented a proof of this.

Anonymous said...

All this has to do with a bunkering project is johor.


Just call me AZIZ.

Vincent said...

Lets boycott products and services of companies that advertise with UTUSAN . Pass the word around . Together we can make a difference , lets wipe out those enemies of a beautiful malaysia

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (3:21pm) wrote, "they said the Malay gene is very strong. You've presented a proof of this".

No, of course not. All of them except Chinese and thereal Indains, want to be Malays as Malays themselves just don't even know to progress themselves. They let these false malays to steal all the weaths right under their nose. See how stupid are the Malays.

Anonymous said...

Syed Mokthar, has been set up. Why? Is this an exercise to embarass Muhyidin Yassin? Who would do that? Or is it because Syed is standing against Halim Saad and Daim to take over PLUS? Who has recently given Daim a free hand to deal with Singapore? Looks like all roads lead 2 Putrajaya

A KADIR JASIN said...

Sdr Rocky's Bru,

1. I had gone through two constitution crises relating to the Malay Rulers, their powers and immunity. You were there with me!

2. I have always called for caution when dealing with the Rulers. The term taat setia must be properly understood;

3. Now, as it was in the olden days, the Malay Palaces have their fair share of kniving Kitols and Raja Mendaliars who were out to take advantage of things. In the Malay lexicon, they are called "budak raja".;

4. Yes, I know the Muslim dermawan you meant. He's a very charitable person. He even funded Chinese-owned schools and universities and during Ramadan feed thousands of poor Muslims around the globe. He had just bought an unused church in South Africa and turned it into a mosque, but agreeing with the church owner to to change its facade;

5. I would like to advise all the Muslim dermawans to be very careful in giving out donations (sedekah). There many ungrateful people out there. There are even those who consider donation as a source of income.

6. I am happier helping the poor kampung and pekan people who do not bite the hands that feed them and who know how to say "syukur".

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

---Because Sultan Ibrahim is not that kind of Sultan.---

Bro, the chap has just sat in the chair for a couple of "days" (setahun jagung), let him "work first" and then evaluate his report. That would be fair to all.

Anonymous said...

Rocky:

Is donation the same as your boss punya classic line: You Help Me I Help You ?

Godfather

Anak Kedah said...

Memang orang Cina tau kebanyakan penjawat awam Melayu terima rasuah dan sanggup menjual maruah (serta telor) bangsanya.

Mujurlah Istana Johor tidak pernah mengecewakan kita sejak pekarangannya menjadi tempat kelahiran UMNO dengan penentangannya terhadap Malayan Union lagi.

And don't let anyone dare cast doubt on this fact.

Anonymous said...

Its all about the bunkering contract in Johor, spin as you may. A bribe was given, perhaps in the name of charity, nevertheless the intentions were less noble. Kudos to the Sultan.

Anonymous said...

Sdr Kadir, how sincere any "dermawan" was would not turn up with a bag full of cash to the Sultan. This is not the first time he is charitable, there are a million ways he can do good with his money. It is obvious, one seeks mileage.

I do not blame the Sultan for being angry as this is an insult!

Now to worry, if he ever being handled by the same lawyer from MACC(that was leading TBH's inquest). It is a big chance he maybe let off the hook.

Kunta Kunte