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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PKR: It was a set-up, Aminah manoeuvred the conversation

By Wong Choon Mei | suarakeADILan

Parti Keadilan Rakyat will proceed to sue former Penang Wanita chief Aminah Abdullah for accusing two of its leaders of attempting to bribe her into withdrawing from the Penanti by-election.

PKR election chief Saifuddin Nasution told a press conference that his party would insist on a retraction and a public apology. The letter of demand, sent on Tuesday, will give her seven days to respond.

The party is also seeking financial compensation from her for damaging its reputation and that she refrains from making further defamatory statements.

Saifuddin, who listened to a three-and-a-half-hour CD recording, said from the way Aminah and her husband manoeuvred the conversation, it was obvious that PKR leaders Cheah Kah Peng and Peter Lim were being set-up.

“It was a meeting with friends in a jovial setting. It gives the impression that she had the desire to return to the party and her friends would discuss it with top party leaders,” said Saifuddin.

Meanwhile, Kah Peng and Peter denied making any overtures to their former colleague, saying it was Aminah who insisted on inviting them to her house for lunch.

During their visit, Aminah trapped them into conversation that implicated that they were trying to ‘bribe’ her. Her family secretly taped their conversation and also took photographs.

But according to Kah Peng and Peter, at no time did they offer her the post of Penang deputy chief minister nor Penang Island Municipal Council chief. Neither did they attempt to bribe her with RM80,000.

“Aminah is pulling off a political stunt. She has used our honest friendship for her own selfish gain,” said Kah Peng.

An Ezam loyalist

The 56-year of Aminah is contesting the Penanti state seat as an independent after leaving the party on sour terms.

She is a staunch stalwart of former PKR Youth chief Ezam Mohd Nor, who was lured over to Umno by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2008.

On Monday, Aminah and her husband Mohd Rofi distributed the CD recordings to the press, claiming that Kah Peng and Peter offered her ‘bribes’ not to contest the by-election.

She lodged a report with the Election Commission but refused to make a similar one at the rightful authority, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Nevertheless, the EC has referred the case to the MACC, which has since confirmed taking a statement from her.

“The officials told me that the offers amounted to corruption. Only then did I really know it was bribery,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

She was obviously feigning ignorance as her accusations were clear and well-reported by the press on Monday.

“The offer to head the council was on the condition that I did not contest in the by-election. They wanted me to withdraw my candidacy and give the PKR candidate a walkover,” she said at the Monday press conference to launch her by-election campaign.

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