Wednesday, June 30, 2010
This has raised the eyebrows of Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, who quit PKR in February and declared himself an Independent lawmaker.
"I have here their hotel bookings. Raja Petra made a booking from Oct 1-4 at the Britannia Hotel (in) Manchester and Zaid made a booking at the same hotel from Oct 1-3," he told journalists at the Parliament lobby today.
He questioned the "coincidence" and called for an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe if there is link between the duo.
"I am asking MACC to (find out who is funding) Raja Petra's stay in London. What was (Zaid) doing with a fugitive in Manchester?" asked Zahrain.
Asked if he was accusing Zaid of providing the funds, Zahrain denied this but said he wants MACC to get to the bottom of the matter.
He also claimed to have a copy of an email from Raja Petra to his daughter, stating that he had received RM470,000 from Amarjit Singh.
Since Amarjit is a lawyer for both Raja Petra and PKR, said Zahrain, the money may have come from the party.
"I know that there is a relationship between the PKR right-hand man with Raja Petra, based on the hotel booking. Therefore I want (de facto law minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz) and MACC to investigate," he said.
Zahrain (left) added that he would hand over his information to Nazri after the press conference.
Raja Petra was charged with sedition and criminal defamation last year but was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal in both matters, as the prosecution could not serve the warrant of arrest on him despite several postponements.
Missing from Malaysia since May last year, he now lives in self-imposed exile.
In an immediate response posted on his blog, Zaid stayed true to character and appeared unpertubed by the accusations.
'I met RPK. So?'
He instead expressed 'pity' for Zahrain for being "so pathetic".
"Parliamentarians should be proposing ideas for national policy and be brave in criticising government decisions... this is their job, especially "Independent" MPs who are favoured by the PM.
"That is why I am surprised that this has been made an issue. (Zahrain) has become like a member of the Special Branch," he said in the posting.
Zaid also admitted to being friends with Raja Petra and his wife Marina that he had met with them during his trip to Manchester last year.
While Raja Petera did indeed make the bookings for him, the former did not stay at the hotel as it was only 15 minutes from his home, said Zaid.
"Meeting Raja Petra is not a crime, dear YB. Even you have been to his house in Manchester," he said, turning the tables on Zahrain.
Unlike others, he suggested, he does not believe in abandoning friends in times of need and would visit them everytime he is in London.
"I will be in London again next week and God-willing, I will meet with Marina and Petra.
"I also hope to meet with Bala if MACC does not want to meet with him," he said, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the anti-corruption agency's decision to cancel its much awaited interview to record private investigator P Balasubramaniam over the Altantuya Shaariibuu case.
courtesy of Malaysiakini
I refer to the statement made by Independent MP Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim in the lobby of Parliament this evening and reported in The Star online portal.