Saturday 27 August 2011

A-G denies Raja Petra’s bribe claims

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has denied claims by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin that he was being bribed by former Ho Hup Bhd deputy executive chairman Datuk Vincent Lye in exchange for help in a boardroom tussle.

Raja Petra had alleged on his blog Malaysia-Today on August 23 that Lye had “bribed” Gani and used Ho Hup funds to pay for renovation work at Gani Patail’s second wife’s house in Negeri Sembilan.
In his first response to Raja Petra’s claims, Abdul Gani told The Malaysian Insider that he had never accepted any money from the construction company.

“I didn’t take a single cent from Ho Hup. I have a rule; I don’t take money,” he said.

When asked whether he owned a house in Seremban, he replied: “I don’t have a house in Seremban or anywhere in Negri Sembilan.”

“I don’t know what to say … all these things happened in 2009 but the case was from 2010, so it doesn’t make sense,” he added, apparently referring to the charges filed against Low.

Raja Petra had insinuated that the A-G used his influence on behalf of Lye to have his boardroom rival Datuk TC Low charged in court in January this year for non-timely disclosure of his interests in the company.

The blogger had also posted pictures on the website of what appears to be a computer-generated invoice dated July 13 2009 from a company in Petaling Jaya to Ho Hup for installation of lighting fixtures for “AG’s Bungalow at Seremban 2 — Sri Carcosa”; a handwritten invoice dated July 13 to Lye for renovation work for Sri Carcosa in Seremban 2; a cash payment voucher from Ho Hup dated August 12 for work done for “AG Tan Sri Ghani Patail Bangalow at Seremban 2 — Sri Carcosa” worth RM18,000; and a cheque made out to the renovation supplier for RM18,000.

Lye and Low, who had stakes of about 28 and 26 per cent respectively in Ho Hup at the time, were battling for control of the construction company boardroom.

The former, however, was voted out at an EGM in March this year.

In May, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) cleared Gani Patail of corruption allegations in relation to his recent haj pilgrimage last year.

MACC operations evaluation panel (PPO) chairman Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil had said that the case had been dropped as investigations showed “no testimony to any criminal offence.”

The issue was highlighted by Raja Petra and former corruption prevention panel adviser Tan Sri Robert Phang who had said Abdul Gani’s explanation to the panel had failed to dispel suspicions over the pilgrimage.

Apart from the duo, former top cop Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim has repeatedly attacked Abdul Gani for his failure to prosecute several high-profile cases and has called for the prime minister to axe the A-G.

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