Corruption court acquits NRD official of issuing fake MyKad charge

KOTA KINABALU: A mother of nine cried tears of joy after the Special Corruption Court here cleared the National Registration Department (NRD) assistant registrar of a charge of issuing a fake identity card on Tuesday (Sept 27).

Safiah Alijang, 53, was charged under Section 463 of the Penal Code for allegedly making the fake MyKad for one Muhamad Daniel Hafiez Alif @ Jali at the NRD office in Sabah’s northern Pitas district at 3.05pm on May 22, 2013.

The offence, punishable under Section 465 of the same Code, provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine or both, on conviction.

Sessions Court Judge Abu Bakar Manat, however, ruled that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case and subsequently acquitted Safiah of the charge.

Having been suspended since 2018 due to the case, Safiah was left in tears after the court announced its verdict.

Her closest family members – her husband and daughter – looked calm as they sat in the public gallery after the judge read out his ruling.

Outside the courtroom later, Safiah, who was on bail pending the disposal of the case, expressed her gratitude to her lawyer Azhier Farhan Arisin and her family.

“I feel like I died and came back to life. I’m grateful as I’m cleared of the charge. I couldn’t contain my joy when I heard the court’s decision,” she said, trying to hold back her emotions.

Appearing for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was deputy public prosecutor Nartiah F. Mirchele Sambatan who had produced 18 witnesses for the case since the trial started on June 15, 2020.

In his broad grounds of decision earlier, Judge Abu Bakar said the evidence was clear in that the accused was not the person who made the false entry into the NRD’s iJPN system.

Accordingly, he added, the accused cannot be said to “make the false document” and commit forgery.

He said the prosecution also failed to resolve the contradiction of evidence among the prosecution witnesses.

Judge Abu Bakar said in such a case where the prosecution led with two sets of evidence, each of which contradicts and strikes at the other, the court was left with no reliable and trustworthy evidence upon which a conviction of the accused might be based.