April 6, 2023
KUALA LUMPUR – Two former directors of a company, including the son of a former minister, claimed trial at the Sessions Court here to nine charges related to the sale and storage of government-subsidised cooking oil, which is a controlled item.
Muhammad Faisal Hamzah, 39 – the son of current Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin – and Azizul Abdul Halim, 55, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them before judge Mazni Nawi.
The duo, as then directors of Rimba Merpati Sdn Bhd, a licensed wholesaler of subsidised cooking oil, were first individually charged with violating rule 9(1) of the Control of Supplies Regulations 1974 for having more than the allowed 50 metric tonnes of the commodity in their business premises.
As directors, they had committed an offence punishable under Section 22(1) of the Control of Supplies Act 1961, read together with Section 22(4) of the same legislation, and Section 34 of the Penal Code.
Offenders can be fined up to RM1mil and jailed for not more than three years or both upon conviction.
They allegedly committed the offence at their premises in the Sinar Andalas industrial area in Senawang at around 11.15pm on Aug 11 last year.
Rimba Merpati, as a company, was also charged with the same offence, and the duo, who represented it, again pleaded not guilty.
The offence carries a fine of up to RM2mil upon conviction.
Both Muhammad Faisal and Azizul were also charged with providing false information, documents and invoices with regard to the volume of subsidised cooking oil they had in possession and the sale of the commodity.
They were charged under Section 8(4)(b) of the Act and punishable under Section 22(1) of the same legislation, read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.
Offenders can be fined up to RM1mil and jailed for up to three years or both upon conviction.
The company was also charged with the same offence.
Again, as representatives of the company, the two accused claimed trial to all charges.
The offences were allegedly committed at about 5pm on Aug 12, 2022, at the state Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry office in Seremban 2.
Muhammad Faisal’s father, Hamzah, had served as the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism minister under the Najib Razak administration, before being made home minister during the previous Perikatan Nasional government headed by Ismail Sabri.