PETALING JAYA: If you have received any text or audio message warning motorists from trying to bribe law enforcement officers who could be Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers in disguise, just assume it is true.
That is because the MACC would not confirm nor deny that such operations were being carried out by its officers to stamp out such offences by road users, TheSun reported today.
The messages that have been shared widely on social media are in Tamil for the audio version, and in English and Bahasa Malaysia for the text version.
According to MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Azam Baki, the MACC is not concerned about the messages and will continue its focus on clamping down on bribery.
“We see the messages as being a positive, because it shows the public are aware that the MACC is constantly fighting corruption.
“These messages also indirectly send out a warning to the corrupt that MACC is everywhere and will not tolerate any corrupt practices” he told the daily, adding that it was not uncommon for the MACC to carry out such operations although he did not confirm the cases referred to in the messages.
According to the daily, the veracity of the messages could not be confirmed, however, it seems to have been rather effective so far, with motorists being more cautious in dealing with the police and other enforcement authorities, namely the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
One of the audio messages features an unidentified man claiming he was tipped off by a police contact about MACC officers going undercover as police, JPJ or SPAD enforcement officers.
The man is heard on the audio message as saying that an MACC officer would be present when traffic police issue summonses to errant motorists before identifying themselves when the driver offers to “settle”.
Any offer of a bribe would result in the MACC officer revealing his real identity and hauling up the motorist for investigations before charging them with corruption.
In the audio message, the man also advises motorists to just accept the summons and avoid trying to bribe any enforcement officers “for a short period currently” during the alleged MACC operation.
According to TheSun, another audio message features a man who claims to be a taxi driver in Johor issuing the same warning and admitting that he was detained by the MACC for bribing a “SPAD officer”.
However, the cabbie claims a case of entrapment wherein he did not offer a bribe but was asked by the “SPAD officer” to pay a bribe in order to avoid having his taxi towed away.
In the audio message, the man is heard saying that he had pleaded with the officer to let him off with only a summons after being told that his taxi would be seized.
He alleged the “SPAD officer” demanded a RM500 bribe, but that since he didn’t have the amount, he had instead offered the S$200 (RM620) he had with him.
The man claimed that when he got out of his taxi to pay the money to the “SPAD officer”, the latter identified himself as an MACC personnel and arrested him.
The man also alleged he was arrested and taken in for questioning by the MACC officer who refused to accept the argument that he had not offered the bribe but was asked to pay.
The taxi driver then claimed he was only freed after paying a RM3,000 bail 10 hours after his arrest. He was told to appear in court a week later, where he was fined RM10,000 for bribery.
According to TheSun, the man claimed to have seen a dozen other people in the same court for similar offences.