KUCHING: A Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) officer rejected an offer to pay him over RM20,000 a month on top of an initial RM30,000 to turn a blind eye to the activities of individuals involved in the illegal wildlife trade.
Mohammad Norazlan Jamil, the SFC Sibu enforcement and protection division head, was commended for his integrity, sense of duty, and justice.
He was one of two who received awards from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Sarawak during SFC’s Integrity Day here last Monday (Nov 1).
Norazlan related that the incident in question occurred in Sarikei in 2020.
“We warned them not to carry out illegal activities and would act against them if they persisted. Instead, they tried to bribe us with RM30,000 while another offered us RM25,000 every month.
“I rejected the offers immediately because the most important thing for me and other enforcement officers is to ‘honour our badge’. We have to remember our parents and family at home,” he told New Sarawak Tribune.
“Once a person accepts a bribe and gets caught, his career opportunities in future are uncertain. For us at SFC, we must always uphold the organisation’s good image and integrity,” he stressed.
He then recalled another incident which was during the biggest wildlife trade prevention operation in Kapit in 2019.
In the incident, a man was arrested and about 148 pieces of hornbill ivory, peacock fur, hornbill feathers, pangolin scales, bear bile, porcupine quills, deer antlers, barking deer antlers and other parts of wild animals were confiscated.
“It was the biggest seizure at that time. This case involved an international smuggling syndicate…he had offered a bribe of RM10,000 for action to not be taken against him,” Norazlan, 37, from Sarikei and who has been with SFC for 15 years now, said.
Meanwhile, the other recipient, 33-year-old Mohd Arif Suhai, hails from Belaga and works as Ranger 1 with the SFC Sibu enforcement and protection division.
He said it was his first time being offered a bribe during an operation.
“The incident took place not far from UCTS Sibu. We found a lorry with mangrove logs, and upon checking, we found that the offender did not have a valid permit.
“The owner offered me RM5,000 to release the logs. I was shocked. I rejected his offer and immediately reported this to the MACC,” he related.
“As a Muslim, it’s wrong and it’s not good to use dirty money to feed the family.
“Every day, we see anti-corruption advertisements on the television…we know that taking bribes is wrong.”
Arif, who has been with SFC for 11 years now, reminded his colleagues and other enforcement agency officers to do their duties sincerely and professionally, and reject corruption.
“If you get a bribe offer, report it to your boss immediately. Never give in to corruption because once you do, it’s a hole you will never get out of.”