Bersatu leader decries govt’s alleged selective political prosecution of Opposition

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — A Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leader has claimed that Putrajaya MP Datuk Radzi Jidin was a victim of politically motivated prosecution due to his opposition to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the ruling coalition.

Bersatu Legal and Constitution Bureau deputy chairman Sasha Lyna Abdul Latif said the sudden Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation against Radzi, a former education minister, suggested that Anwar and his coalition were systematically targeting and hounding their political opponents through various enforcement bodies.

“It is irrational, unrealistic, and laughable to suggest that the swift and sudden moves by the MACC and Anwar’s political allies from Wednesday to Friday against Mohd Radzi were not connected with the bitter spat the latter had with the prime minister on Tuesday.

“It should be noted that the MACC chief commissioner directly answers to the prime minister.

“His position is at the mercy of the prime minister’s discretion,” she said in a statement today.

Sasha Lyna was responding to Radzi’s alleged involvement in the J-Qaf book printing project that has prompted an MACC probe.

The former Perikatan Nasional (PN) senior minister has since refuted allegations that he was involved in approving direct negotiations for the RM80 million project.

On Saturday, MACC arrested Radzi’s former political secretary and a company owner as part of their probe into a RM80 million book printing project that allegedly saw kickbacks given out.

Sasha Lyna said during the parliamentary session last Tuesday, while Anwar was explaining his stance on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA), he suddenly made a baseless accusation against Radzi for corruption.

She said the accusation evoked a strong response and Radzi had demanded a retraction.

“Later on, the following day (Wednesday), a WhatsApp message went viral with an allegation of the Putrajaya MP’s involvement in a graft scandal involving the J-Qaf book printing project for pre-schoolers and some other project.

“On Thursday, the Batu Umno division chief (Ghulam Muzaffar Ghulam Mustakim), who is now politically allied to the prime minister, lodged a MACC complaint.

“The next day (Friday) MACC announced that they have arrested Radzi Jidin’s former political secretary when he was the Education Minister,” she said.

Sasha Lyna pointed out that the complaint lodged was based on a WhatsApp message that was being circulated without any basis or verification.

She said that the chronology of events is important as it suggested the prime minister’s alleged systematic targeting of his political opponents.

Sasha Lyna said this is not the first time that such things have happened as the abuse of MACC investigation powers against the Opposition had reached unprecedented levels since Anwar became the prime minister.

“A clear-cut case against Ahmad Zahid was dropped, but corruption cases are being conjured up regularly against Opposition leaders.

“One after another, Opposition MPs are being subjected to interrogations, investigations and politically motivated criminal prosecutions.

“Now mired in the moral swamp of Zahid’s DNAA, the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) coalition seems bent on falsely painting the Opposition as being corrupt by subjecting them to highly publicised MACC investigations,” she said.

Sasha Lyna urged the government of the day to stop its alleged intimidation of Opposition lawmakers.

She said Anwar and his government must focus on the troubles and plight of the people and not spend their time on unlawful plots to run down those who are not aligned with them.