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Khairy’s Penanti remark “made in his own capacity”

KUALA LUMPUR, 29 May 2009: The Umno leadership has dismissed the remarks by its Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin urging Penanti voters not to vote as a statement made in his own capacity.

Party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Umno’s position was not to get involved in the Penanti by-election in any way, since Barisan Nasional had decided not to contest the seat. Polling is this Sunday, 31 May.

Najib was asked about Khairy’s remarks as reported in Sinar Harian in an article titled “Pilihan raya Penanti perlekah amalan demokrasi: Khairy” on 18 May, in which the Youth chief reportedly told voters not to cast their ballots on Sunday.

Khairy had said that the by-election “trivialised democracy” because the resignation by former Penanti assemblyperson Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin had resigned at “his whim and fancy”.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is considering lodging a police report against Khairy for breaking the Election Offences Act 1954, if he does not retract his statement in 24 hours.

Section 4A (1) of the act says it is an offence to “to induce any elector or voter to vote or refrain from voting at an election”. A violation of the offence carries a prison term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or both.

Najib, when asked whether it was appropriate for BN leaders to make such comments, replied: “Whatever action done is action at the individual level. Umno’s stand is that it is not involved at all,” he said at a press conference after an Umno supreme council meeting today.

Najib as well as other BN politicians have held that the Penanti by-election was a waste of funds and time, as they deemed Fairus’ resignation a “political ploy” meant to solve PKR’s internal problems.

Fairus stepped down as Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1 on 8 April, and resigned as Penanti assemblyperson on 16 April. Although it was believed he would be charged with corruption for being involved in illegal quarrying activities, he was subsequently cleared by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Deflecting PKFZ

Najib who is also the Prime Minister and Finance Minister 1, was asked what the Finance Ministry planned to do about the Port Klang Free Trade Zone‘s (PKFZ) inability to service its debt which would result in its total outlay ballooning to RM12.453 billion by 2041.

Najib replied that he had directed Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat to prepare an answer for every point raised in the PKFZ report, released to the public by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) yesterday.

“He (Ong) will prepare all the explanations on each point,” Najib said, and declined to comment further on the issue.

The PKFZ report revealed various irregularities which caused the cost of the project to escalate, including lack of management control by the Port Klang Authority, failure to report early to the cabinet, non-compliance with certain Finance Ministry regulations, awarding of the development contract before the project masterplan was finalised, and potential conflict of interests between companies and personalities.

The project was to have cost RM1.957 billion initially but has now escalated to RM4.947 billion.


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6 Responses to “Khairy’s Penanti remark “made in his own capacity””

  1. patriot says:

    “Section 4A (1) of the act says it is an offence to “to induce any elector or voter to vote or refrain from voting at an election”.

    Will those who organize bus trips to lure voters away on polling date in Penanti be charged for the above offence? Please highlight this possibility with an article.

  2. Thuraisingam says:

    In common law, to aid, abet, procure and counsel a punishable offence is in itself punishable. In the case of the MP for Rembau, YB Khairy Jamaluddin, whether the Election Commission brings charges against him is yet to be seen.

    In English law, one of the English Judges Lord Hewart said in an English case,”not only justice must be done but it must be undoubtedly and manifestlly seen to be done.” I think what the learned justice had in mind was that for the [person] on the street, fairness in the administration of the law involves application of the law to the wrongdoer irrespective of the status of the wrongdoer so that ordinary folks can see justice being done.

  3. Timolol says:

    Semuanya ok what? Don’t hold your breath on this one. One wave of the magic wand – whoosh, and it’s gone.

  4. tan, tanjong bungah says:

    Hi everyone,

    Even if KJ does not withdraw his statement nor say that the press/media. etc misquoted him, don’t hold your breath as no action will be taken against him. People would not be faulted for having the perception that the law applies to different people differently!

  5. badrul says:

    Umno/BN will only arrest law-abiding Malaysians who drink teh tarik near DUN Perak, who wear black/orange t-shirts, who hold candles, who push police [officers], who go looking for arrested relatives/clients at the balai polis, lawyers who walk 100m for human rights, [and those] who mention Altantuya.

    Not those Ah Long (who has full protection from we-all-know which politicians), Kugan’s killers, mat rempit who terrorise ordinary Malaysians, PKFZ wolves who ate RM12 billion of our tax money, etc.

    1, 2, 3 , TANGKAP di Brickfields, 1BLACKMalaysia, 1FEARMalaysia!

  6. kuntakintae says:

    When one of [the BN’s] own is on the wrong side of the law, nothing is done. However, if opposition politicians utter something, they are harassed by the police, the AG and everyone else in the bandwagon. This blatant double standard is what irks the people and one of the things that led to March 2008. If the powers that be can’t, won’t or don’t see this, they will pay at the next elections for their myopia.

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