Before the great clean-up more than a decade ago, Malaysia is known as the place (unofficially) where you give kopi money to get out of trouble.
That ended when the authorities started working on weeding out corruption.
According to a Straits Times report back in 2017, one of the ways involves rewarding officers who reported bribery attempts with a higher amount of cash.
In short, you can’t really bribe your way through Malaysia anymore.
Unfortunately, not everyone caught the memo, including the following Singaporean company director that we’re going to talk about.
S’porean Company Director Tried to Bribe M’sia Customs Officer With $33 to Skip Quarantine
On 24 Oct 2020, a 43-year-old Singaporean company director tried to bribe a Malaysia customs officer.
Not a good idea when, for one, the authorities are trying to weed out corruption and two, the country’s busy battling a fresh round of Covid-19 infections (more on that later).
He had entered Malaysia on 24 Oct 2020 under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) arrangement, according to New Straits Times.
People travelling under this scheme can stay for a total of 14 days within the country and must be quarantined upon arrival.
Unfortunately, it seems that the man was allergic to the idea of being quarantined and tried to bribe his way out with RM100 (S$33).
Remanded & Investigated
According to the paper, the man was arrested at the Johor Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) office and will be detained for five days.
He is being investigated for attempted bribery, and if found guilty, could be jailed or made to pay a fine of up to 10 times the bribery amount or RM10,000 (S$3,270), whichever is higher.
This is the first time an arrest has been made since RGL arrangements began.
Malaysia’s Covid-19 Situation
As of the time of writing, Malaysia reports 26,565 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic started.
While it doesn’t sound like much, the reality of what’s happening on the ground is worse.
Here, have a look at the number of daily Covid-19 cases being reported daily.
It is on the rise since Sep 2020 and on 24 Oct (Saturday), reported 4-digit daily new cases (1,228).
Currently, the country is in a turmoil, not just over Covid-19 or unemployment rates, but within the government as well with the power struggle.
It’s like House of Cards, except it’s happening in real life.
I guess if you want to visit JB for some KL-style Chee Cheong Fun or Hiap Joo banana cake, it’s better that everyone just grit their teeth and follow all the rules put into place. Agree?