Ex-Labuan MP fined for cheating


The Court of Appeal in Sabah has overturned a decision by the Kota Kinabalu High Court to set aside a former MP’s conviction and sentence.

(Free Malaysia Today) – If former Labuan MP Suhaili Abdul Rahman had any plans of returning to politics with a vengeance, they were blown away when the Court of Appeal ruled against him in a case stretching back more than 15 years.

The Court of Appeal here yesterday overturned the High Court’s decision to set aside Suhaili’s conviction and sentence for failing to declare he was bankrupt when making a loan application in 1996.

Federal Court judge Md Raus Sharif, who sat together with Court of Appeal judges Sulong Matjeraie and Mohamed Apandi Ali yesterday, allowed the prosecution’s appeal against the High Court’s verdict last year.

In an unanimous decision, the three judges held that the High Court was wrong in its decision as the criminal offence remained although Suhaili’s bankruptcy status was later annulled.

“The Sessions Court’s decision in convicting and imposing the fine on the respondent (Suhaili) is reinstated,” said Md Raus, and ordered Suhaili to pay the RM10,000 fine.

The court made the decision after hearing arguments from deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Bache from Putrajaya and Suhaili’s counsel Rakhbir Singh.

Suhaili, 48, was fined RM10,000 in default one month’s jail by Sessions Court judge Duncan Sikodol on March 10, last year, after the former pleaded guilty to acting as a guarantor for a RM110,000 loan and a RM50,000 overdraft sought by Syarikat Saraequity Sdn Bhd to buy an apartment on the second floor of Api-Api Centre here, without informing the Malayan Banking Bhd Kota Kinabalu branch that he was a bankrupt.

The charge stated that Suhaili had committed the offence at the bank’s premises on April 3, 1996.

He was charged under Section 109 (1) (m) (iii) of the Bankruptcy Act 1967 which provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both.

Suhaili filed a notice of appeal on March 16 and the High Court set aside his conviction and sentence and ordered the fine already paid by the latter to be returned.