Kuala Lumpur: Information Minister Tan Sri Rais Yatim has denied he had raped his Indonesian maid four years ago, saying the allegations circulating on the Internet are part of a campaign to discredit the Government before general elections. The accusations against him were made by an Indonesian labour activist group in an internal report that was leaked and made its way into blog postings. Rais, who had remained silent until now, issued a strong denial through Bernama. Without naming anyone, he blamed bloggers and opposition parties for "ugly and wicked lies."
"I deny the allegations, whether it involves raping any individual four years ago or any other accusation raised by wild writers on the Internet or by any political party," he said in the statement. The allegations are a new blow to ties between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Rais, 68, said he and his family members were prepared to extend full cooperation to an investigation. The alleged rape was reported by Indonesian activist group Migrant Care, which interviewed the maid in 2007 before she returned to Indonesia. A Migrant Care official, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the case, confirmed the group had handled the case but refused to elaborate.
He said the woman doesn't want to make public comments. It is not clear how the report was leaked, but it made its way onto the Internet late last month. The blogs claimed that the case was covered up by the government of then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who stepped down in 2009.
Indonesian Embassy officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Rais said while the authorities conducted the investigation, and for the sake of justice and humanitarian considerations, those voraciously indulging in dirty politics via the Internet or other media should cease all speculation, disdain or action which could violate good moral character.
"All written material, reports, extracts and speculation, including illustrations and photographs, published in any blog or website on the Internet so far on the allegation of misconduct or rape of any individual are ill-favoured, malicious and libellous, having been fabricated without any valid legal basis," he said.
Dr Rais, who is the MP for Jelebu, said that in that connection, this matter was a dirty and an evil political game deliberately played up for the purpose of harnessing the dividends of opposition politics. Police reports lodged by PAS and its allies in Kuala Klawang, Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan, on Tuesday following the speculation by the bloggers was proof that these allegations were motivated by dirty politics to get the constituents of Jelebu to side the opposition, when they did not have the locus standi to lodge such reports, he said.
Dr Rais said: "The allegation of rape as published by the blogger has no connection whatsoever with the so-called WikiLeaks exposure." He also said that the move to bring into the picture former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan for allegedly not having entertained a report in 2007 on the matter was a cheap political deceit purely intended to manipulate the facts in the eyes of the people because none of the allegations was brought to the attention of Abdullah and Musa.
"Any report from abroad or within the country relating to the allegation of the rape of a certain individual in the blogs, websites or other Internet media is a political manifestation intended to destroy my credibility as a member of the Malaysian government administration, where my record of service has never been tarnished by any misconduct in almost 40 years," he said.
Dr Rais said the intention to destroy his name and image was clear, so that his endeavour at the Information Communication and Culture Ministry was disrupted and lead to the failure of the policies of the Barisan Nasional government, particularly the 1Malaysia concept initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"The opposition and those unhappy with the success and people's acceptance of the policy are resorting to stifle it through libel and cheap lies. They hope they can achieve their evil intention by killing the messenger," he said. Dr Rais said that with the advent of a by-election and talk of an impending general election, such issues were created by them to politically stab and destroy the government's noble struggle. "They assume that they can divert public attention away from major cases such as sodomy by raising such speculative exposure and allegations," he said. - Bernama, AP
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