Friday, May 23, 2008

ACA quizzes Kota Belud MP - The Sun

ACA quizzes Kota Belud MP

KUALA LUMPUR (May 22, 2008): by S.Tamarai Chelvi

The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) has started an investigation into a disclosure in Parliament by Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan that he was offered enough money to last "two or three future generations" to defect to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Its Director of Investigation Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul told theSun when contacted today that an ACA officer had lodged a report on the disclosure which was reported in the newspaper, adding that Abdul Rahman is also being investigated on why he failed to report the bribery attempt.

Shukri agreed with a statement by Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam that it was an offence not to report bribery attempts and that Abdul Rahman had also a moral responsibility to do so, as a people's elected representative.

Shukri said once the investigation is completed, the ACA will submit investigation papers to the Attorney-General (A-G) and it is up to the A-G to make decision on whether there was a case for prosecution.

TheSun had reported today that Abdul Rahman had yet to lodge a report with the ACA. He told the newspaper he would do so when PKR names 30 MPs it claims are jumping ship so that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) can form the next government.

The MP had said in Parliament last week that he was promised a cabinet post as well as money to cross over to PKR, describing the sum as sufficient to "last two or three future generations".

The issue created waves in Parliament today, when Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang accused Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs of not being committed to fighting corruption, citing Abdul Rahman's case.

In reply, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nazri Abdul Aziz refuted theSun report, saying the ACA has contacted Abdul Rahman on the matter.

“I was contacted by the ACA to ask what kind of action to be taken. I told him to see Kota Belud to get his information,” he told Lim.

Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) then interjected, asking why the ACA was contacting him first and ask for his instruction before taking action, saying it was as if the agency does not know its own jurisdiction.

Nazri then clarified that the ACA did not seek his permission but was only informing him about the case as he is the minister in charge of Parliament.

Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) then asked whether Abdul Rahman could confirm in Parliament that he made such statement (that he was offered the money), and if it was true, he could be arrested immediately under citizen's arrest.

Abdul Rahman was seen standing for some time, waiting for deputy speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi’s nod for him to speak and for Nazri to give way.

However, Nazri ignored Abdul Rahman, saying it was true that Abdul Rahman made that statement in the Dewan.

"Let me give the answer. No need (for Abdul Rahman to speak). He can only stand to seek explanation from me. I am still the Minister in the PM’s Department. If you (Karpal) Singh want to ask him, do it outside. He (Abdul Rahman) cannot stand up. He’s a new MP. He does not know. It’s okay. He cannot stand up," he said repeatedly to shouts by Karpal Singh asking him to give way to Abdul Rahman to explain himself.

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