19 February, 2009

Anwar reveals 'evidence' on bribe attempts

He also said that the ACA agent who was monitoring the secret negotiation meetings was later replaced with someone else.

There are evidence linked to Barisan Nasional’s attempts to 'bribe and threaten Pakatan assemblypersons' to topple the Pakatan-led state government in Kedah, claimed Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

- Malaysiakini

From The Malaysian Insider:

A photograph of three bullets, “kidnappings” and CCTV videotapes. These were among the evidence presented or alluded to by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in parliament today to support his claims that the BN government is using bribery and other unethical tactics to entice defections.

Anwar also alleged that despite police reports, top government officials were deliberately taking no action.

He claimed that the bribery scheme could be traced to the deputy prime minister and while he did not present the CCTV recordings in parliament, when pressed by reporters afterwards if he had the tapes, he said: “you will know at the right time.”

“I am giving the truth and facts, the attempts that were conducted by the Umno leadership, including the Deputy Prime Minister and leaders who threatened, kidnapped, and giving bribery this only continues the record and tradition of bribery which are practiced by the said leaders,” Anwar said in parliament.

He told parliament how Lim Soo Nee, PKR’s state representative for Kulim agreed to be “bait” and worked together with the Anti-Corruption Agency (now called the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission) to secure evidence of alleged bribery attempts made by agents of Datuk Seri Mahadzir Khalid to entice a defection.

Mahadzir is the former menteri besar of Kedah.

Mahadzir’s agents were alleged to have offered up to RM5 million for a defection, Anwar claimed.

A CCTV recording was purportedly made of a meeting between Lim and Mahadzir at a hotel in Seberang Jaya at the end of last year.

Anwar also showed a photograph of three bullets sent to PKR Bakar Arang state representative Tan Wei Shu.

It was alleged to have been sent when Tan declined an offer to defect. Tan made a police report but claims no police action was taken.

Anwar also spoke of three police reports lodged by former Bukit Selambau assemblyman V Arumugam.

The reports were lodged over various harassments including an alleged threat that he could end up like former Lunas state representative Joe Fernandez if he persisted in his political activities. Fernandez died after being shot three times in 2000.

“If a police report was made, go investigate. There was no investigation, not once was he called. This is a member of the state executive council and maybe he is Indian. And there is some perception that Indians are a lower class in Malaysia,” Anwar added.

Anwar claimed that the police and the MACC are not acting on the various police reports and the CCTV due to pressure from top leadership in government.

His BN counterparts however, declined to accept Anwar’s evidence at face value.

Dr. Mohd Puad Zarkashi, member of parliament for Batu Pahat, told Anwar not to blame BN for defections and said that the CCTV recording proves nothing as he also meets members from PKR.

Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, member of parliament for Pasir Salak, told Anwar not to accuse the police of wrong doing as they were not in parliament to defend themselves.

In the press conference afterwards, Anwar said that “the Attorney General will use all its powers” to frustrate investigations.

He added that Selangor state representatives had lodged police reports over attempts to bribe them but “that is an academic exercise” as it was unlikely any police investigation would arise out of the reports.

The Sun reported that:

“On April 11, 2008, I received a report that BN agents representing Mahazir had offered Lim RM4 million to defect to BN, and this sum was later raised to RM5 million,” he said.

“Arrangement to introduce Lim to Mahazir and the Deputy Prime Minister were also promised,” he added.

Anwar said Lim who was harassed with this offers and persuasions throughout April, May, June and July 2008 lodged a report with the MACC and collaborated with the commission which made a CCTV recording of a meeting between Lim and Mahazir arranged at a hotel in Seberang Jaya at the end of 2008.

“However till today there has been no follow up and I understand that the officer in charge of the investigations had been transferred out of Kedah,” he said.

Anwar when met outside the Dewan was however non-committal when asked if he had a copy of the CCTV recording saying: “You will know at the right time.”

“Lim told us the ACA did it professionally- the voices and visuals are clear,” he said adding that the party lawyer was also present at the time the recording of the negotiations was being taken.
Anwar claimed there was ample evidence, enough to prefer charge.

“This is a test for the MACC and its independence after all the support and belief that we have shown for the new council,” he said during the debate.

He said he had proof and statements to show that there have been attempts by BN agents to entice PR assemblymen in Kedah to leave the coalition and thus cause the downfall of the PR leadership in Kedah led by Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak.

Among these were Tan Wei Shu who received threats to his life in the form of bullets, while his colleague and Kedah executive council member V.Arumugam had received threats that he will face the same fate as the late Lunas assemblyman Joe Fernandez who was shot to death, harassed by two men and had the rear windscreen of his official car smashed with a brick. Anwar questioned the delays and lapses in police and MACC investigations into reports of these threats and harassment.

Anwar also gave a lengthy history lesson on the immunity enjoyed by Malay Rulers quoting history books and his experience in drafting the amendments which led to the Rulers using this immunity when he was a minister in the government. “I know the history behind this and the
discussions that went on in Cabinet pertaining this,” he said.

Anwar also questioned Umno over their failure to address the disrespect to the rulers when their party members protested in front of the palaces of Perlis and Kuala Terengganu when they disliked the rulers choice for Mentri Besars.

Now you are talking so much about supporting the rulers following the protests in front of the palace in Kuala Kangsar following the Sultan's decision to appoint BN as the new state government following the resignation of three PR state assemblymen from their respective parties to become independents aligned to the BN.



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