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Singapore—A Singaporean national was arrested in Malaysia on Saturday (Oct 24) for attempting to bribe a Malaysian immigration officer in order to skip the required quarantine process imposed to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

The 43-year-old company director was arrested by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) at its office in Johor at 3:50 pm on Saturday. He is now in custody until Oct 29 while investigations for attempted bribery are ongoing.

Datuk Azmi Alias, the MACC director in Johor, confirmed the arrest to The New Straits Times. Faridatul Farrah Mohd Shukri, the magistrate’s court assistant registrar, issued the remand order on Sunday (Oct 25).

The MACC found out about the company director’s offense when the attempted bribery was reported by an immigration officer.

Initial investigations have shown that the Singaporean gave a bribe in the amount of RM100 (approximately S$33) to the immigration officer so that he would be allowed into Malaysia under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) programme without having to serve the required 14-day quarantine.

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According to The New Straits Times, the MACC said that the Singaporean company director’s case is  being investigated under Section 17(b) of the MACC Act 2009.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, this is the first time that someone has been arrested since Singapore and Malaysia opened the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) programme in August.

Should the Singaporean company director be found guilty of attempted bribery, he could be fined RM10,000 (approximately S$3,270 ) or 5 times the bribe amount, whichever amount is higher. He could also be jailed for as long as 20 years.

Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases have surged in the past few weeks. The country now has 26,565 recorded infections and 229 deaths. Earlier this month, the country announced sweeping curbs in Kuala Lumpur and Sabah as the number of infections reached new heights.

The RGL, which began on Aug 17, allows people to travel between the two countries for essential business and official purposes, while the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) lets Singaporeans and Malaysians with long-term immigration passes to enter the other country for work. —/TISG

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