Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Malaysian federal minister denies raping his maid - as reported by The Star Online 5th January 2011

As reported by The Star Online - 5th January 2011

Rais denies raping his maid


KUALA LUMPUR: Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim has refuted allegations that he raped his Indonesian maid in 2007.

“I refute the allegations, whether they are about raping any individual four years ago (2007) or any other allegation, raised by bloggers on the Internet or by any political entity,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

He described the allegations against him in blog reports and by the Opposition as “heaps of libellous statements and awful, ugly and wicked lies”.

“I state readily that any report by anyone so far related to this matter should be investigated under the country’s laws,” he said.

Dr Rais said he and his family members were prepared to extend full cooperation in such an investigation, and would accept and comply with any outcome of the official probe.

The allegations against a senior Malaysian Cabinet minister were contained in cables made public by whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) head Badrul Hisham Shaharin, or better known as Chegu Bard said it was strange that the minister had remained quiet although it had been days since the issue was first raised.

“As far as we are concerned, he is only guilty until proven guilty. He is still an innocent party but he must come forward and say something...Malaysians would assume that he is guilty if he continues to keep quiet,” he said.

Badrul Hisham said this before lodging a report on the matter at the Seremban 2 police station here.

“He must say something because almost every blogger isl talking about it. Although he is still innocent, the manner his name is being mentioned shows that he is guilty of the crime as he has chose to remain silent,” he said.

Following the revelation by Wikileaks, Migrant Care, a non-governmental organisation which looked into the wellbeing of Indonesian workers lodged a police report claiming that the victim was allegedly raped in Feb 2007. She was then deported to Indonesia.

Badul Hisham said since the minister had made a police report against a blogger immediately after the latter claimed that there were irregularities in the awarding of contracts in his ministry, it was only proper for the minister to respond to the latest allegation promptly.

“We are worried that being a senior minister, he can be blackmailed if he does not openly deny the charge. This will eventually become a problem to national security,” he said.

He said the police should also immediately start a probe into the allegation.

“If the police remains quiet, then the people would say that ministers are a privileged lot and given special protection,” he said adding that the minister should be suspended from his official duties pending the outcome of the investigations.

Badrul Hisham said if the authorities failed to address then allegation, this could cause unnecessary tension in ties between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

“We are giving the police 14 days to begin its probe into the allegation failing which we would be forced to adopt more drastic measures to compel the authorities to do so,” he said.

Meanwhile, PKR Youth said it believed the allegations concerning the rape of an Indonesian domestic helper by a Malaysian minister are true, said Youth head Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin.

“PKR Youth views such revelations seriously. The incident happened on Feb 19, 2007 but the (survivor) has been forced to keep mum as threats were made against her,” he claimed in a statement in a news portal.

He said no action had been taken against the minister for fear of regional conflict.

“The issue is being hotly debated in the cyber-world. As to the validity of the allegation, only (the minister) and God know (the truth),” he said, adding that the issue would affect ties between Malaysia and Indonesia if no action was taken.

He urged for an in-depth investigation to be conducted.

“The minister concerned should also come forward and set the record straight if there is no truth to the allegation,” he said.

He said PKR Youth would conduct a fact-finding mission to Indonesian non-govermental organisation Migrant Care who wrote the report after interviewing the victim, as well as to other Indonesian agencies.

The website also quoted Shamsul as saying that PKR Youth member, Badrul Hisham Shaharin - better known as Chegubard - planned to lodge a police report on the issue.

On Monday, Malaysiakini published a story entitled “Alleged rape victim fears minister’s reach” in which it quoted a purported letter by the victim’s younger sister who wanted justice to be done.

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