KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 ― Datuk Abd Latif Bandi resigned today as Johor state executive councillor after he was charged with 33 counts of corruption involving RM30 million over a housing and land scandal.
Abd Latif, whose housing and local government portfolio was taken over by Mahkota assemblyman Datuk Md Jais Sarday since last month in an acting capacity, thanked his family, friends, colleagues, Mersing residents, NGOs and others who have supported him throughout the legal process.
“Thank you for the close cooperation from heads of department and all staff below my portfolio throughout my service. I apologise for any mistakes throughout the time we were together,” he said in a brief statement issued by his law firm, Adzly & Co.
Abd Latif was charged at the Johor Baru Sessions Court yesterday under Section 28(1)(c) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act that prohibits the abetting or engagement in a criminal conspiracy to commit any offence under the Act.
He was charged together with a property consultant named Amir Sharifuddin Abdul Raub, who also faced 33 counts of corruption.
National newswire Bernama reported that Abd Latif was charged with conspiring with Amir to receive bribes from several individuals in order to obtain approval for the release of some Bumiputera housing lots to the public, as well as to reduce payment in contribution to the Johor Housing Fund for the Pulai Eco Botanic project.
Amir was reportedly charged with obtaining bribes from several individuals for himself and for Abd Latif for the same purpose.
Bail was set at RM2 million each.
Abd Latif’s law firm said the RM2 million bail was too heavy for their client.
“However, thank God, we were touched with contributions from family members, friends and Mersing residents who, since yesterday, gathered to collect funds to bail our client out today while we wait for the trial date that has been scheduled next month,” said Adzly & Co.