|‘Najib promised RM50mil for defections’|
|Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | Feb 2, 09 1:40pm Malaysiakini.com|
|PKR Ipoh Barat division head Fauzi Muda has leveled the damning claim that Umno deputy president Najib Abdul Razak had tried last year to induce him to secure the crossover of two Pakatan Rakyat representatives in Perak.
Fauzi said he had been offered a total of RM50 million for his services and to pay off those he managed to convince, but that he had remained non-committal.
While conceding that he has no concrete evidence to back his allegation, he nonetheless dared Najib (left) – also the deputy premier and deputy head of ruling coalition Barisan Nasional – to deny the claim.
Reading from a three-page statutory declaration at a press conference in Ipoh this morning, Fauzi said a friend Suleiman Mansor, an ordinary member of Umno, had invited him to Kuala Lumpur on a business matter on March 11, 2008.
This was three days after the momentous general election that dumped BN out of the Perak government, and brought a Pakatan coalition into power, albeit with a slim majority of five seats.
However, Suleiman took Fauzi to meet three men, “including former deputy defence minister Zainal Abidin Zin at the Jalan Duta toll plaza”.
“Thereafter, I was taken to Najib (Abdul) Razak’s residence in Putrajaya, where he tried to persuade me to lobby for the crossover of two PR assemblymen to BN,” said Fauzi.
“I was promised RM50 million in return for my services and told that I would be allowed to allocate (part of) the money (to the asseemblypersons) as I wished.”
Fauzi, however, did not name any representatives in the document or during the press conference. He would not distribute copies of the statutory declaration either.
“Najib assured me that if I succeeded, the appointment of the menteri besar for Perak would be delayed. However, I left his residence without making any promises as I feared for my safety.”
He further claimed that Suleiman approached him once more last year, after PKR assemblypersons Jamaluddin Mat Radzi (Behrang) and Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) were charged with corrupt practice.
“I was told that if I succeeded in lobbying for their crossover, the charges would be dropped. But this time, the reward for their defection dropped to RM5 million per person. Again, I refused the offer.”
Fauzi told the media that he intends to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission today.
Commenting on the now-anticipated crossover by Jamaluddin and Osman, he expressed his suspicion that Umno has succeeded in pulling them out of Pakatan.
When pressed as to why he had not lodged a report earlier, he said that rumours of BN attempting to manoeuvre the defections of Pakatan elected representatives had been rife since the general election.
“I did not believe this would happen until the disappearance of Jamaluddin and Osman (since last week),” he said.
He noted, though, that he had previously brought up the matter with Pakatan leaders including Anwar Ibrahim.
Fauzi, in challenging Najib to refute the allegations, said he is prepared to meet face-to-face with the latter over this.
“As to why (BN) had chosen me to lobby for the defections, perhaps they thought I had close relations with them and that I am easily hooked…but they are wrong. I have my principles,” he said.
“I also hope that what I have done today will benefit the state as well as the nation. They will now know the evil political practices that our PM-in-waiting is capable of.”
During the press conference, held at the PKR Perak headquarters, state party head Osman Abdul Rahman refused to comment on the brouhaha surrounding Jamaluddin and Osman or the legality of their resignation letters.
He would only say that both of them are still incommunicado.
This morning, Perak assembly speaker V Sivakumar officially informed the state election commission chief of the vacancy of the two state seats.Sivakumar had announced on Sunday that the seats became vacant after Jamaluddin and Osman tendered their resignation with immediate effect.
Jamaluddin has, however, challenged the resignation letter, insisting that he has not stepped down and that he remains a state assemblyperson.
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