I was charged for refusing to ditch Warisan and back govt: Rozman

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I was charged for refusing to ditch Warisan and back govt: Rozman
I was charged for refusing to ditch Warisan and back govt: Rozman

Warisan lawmaker Rozman Isli claimed that he was hit with a corruption charge today due to his refusal to ditch the political party and back the current government.

The Labuan MP alleged that the graft charge had been planned for a long time and is politically motivated.

The former Umno lawmaker claimed that previously he was called to court to be charged twice, but each time the charges did not proceed.

“For me, there are two objectives that certain quarters with political interest wished to fulfil behind this operation.

“(First), they want me to leave the Warisan party and support the government. For one year and eight months, I was cajoled and offered positions and, at the same time, this case was intentionally done to pressure me.

“(Second), this charge was also done so that, when I refused to give in to pressure and their cajoling, it would be continued in court to crush my image before GE15 (15th general election),” Rozman claimed.

He was speaking during a press conference outside the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex today.

Rozman Isli speaks to members of the media after he was charged in court
Rozman Isli speaks to members of the media after he was charged in court

Rozman, however, did not reveal the specific quarters behind the alleged offer and pressure against him when asked by a media representative.

“In politics during my time in the opposition, there are various warnings (threats) as we usually hear.

“Yes, I was given offers and threats so that I would leave Warisan and support the government.

“However, I do not want to do that because I feel comfortable with the party’s (Warisan’s) ideology, which is in harmony with my soul.

“I wish to continue my struggle in Warisan, as I am attracted and interested in raising the fight with other comrades with the same mission to curb abuse of power and corruption that threaten this country.

“Coincidentally, now I am hit with a charge of abuse of power when I know that I am a victim of abuse of power. This is a good experience. I am optimistic that I can use this venue (to continue the fight),” he told the media.

Rozman reiterated that not only would he continue the fight against abuse of power but would also back institutional reforms so that critical enforcement bodies like the MACC, the police, the Election Commission, as well as the three branches of government - the legislature, the judiciary and the executive - are free from being abused by those in power.

“Check and balance is the key to the future of this country,” he declared.

Earlier this morning, Rozman pleaded not guilty to one count of using his position, as Labuan Port Authority (LPA) deputy chairperson three years ago, to help a company obtain a government contract.

He won the Labuan constituency on an Umno ticket for the 13th and 14 general elections in 2013 and 2018. However, later in 2018, he crossed over to Warisan.

'MACC is no longer seen to be impartial'

Meanwhile, responding to the charge against Rozman, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng claimed that the MACC and Attorney-General's Chambers have consistently and selectively charged only those opposed to the government or the prime minister.

"Under the PN government, MACC is no longer seen to be an impartial, independent and professional organisation battling corruption at the highest levels, without fear or favour," he said in a statement.

The Bagan MP reminded that Malaysia’s rankings in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) had declined from 51st in 2019 to 57th in 2020.

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