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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Ismail continued Jana Wibawa but only Bersatu targeted - Azmin


Despite legal threats, Perikatan Nasional (PN) has stood firm on its position that corruption allegations surrounding the Jana Wibawa programme are a government conspiracy against the coalition.

PN information chief Mohamed Azmin Ali questioned why only Bersatu leaders were targeted for investigation and prosecution, even though the programme continued under the premiership of Umno’s Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Among others, he pointed out that the charges against former Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan were for offences allegedly committed in April 2022 for one charge and between July 2022 and September 2022 for another charge.

Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, however, already resigned as prime minister on Aug 16, 2021.

Azmin claimed this is proof the federal government led by Pakatan Harapan and BN are using government institutions in a clumsy attempt at political persecution, to undermine PN’s credibility in the coming six state elections.

“This is an evil conspiracy by the Harapan-BN government to salvage their increasingly unpopular position, as shown in the latest public sentiment survey,” he said in a statement today, referring to a survey conducted by O2 Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

READ MORE: KINIGUIDE | What is the Jana Wibawa programme?

A group of academics have since criticised the survey’s methods, saying the population surveyed is not representative of the electorate, which could skew results.

Azmin’s statement was made in response to a legal letter from BN, which demanded Muhyiddin and Azmin publicly apologise for defamation and pay compensation.

This was in reference to the duo’s allegations that the Jana Wibawa-linked charges against Wan Saiful and Segambut Bersatu deputy chief Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad were part of Harapan and BN’s efforts to cripple PN and cover up its own weaknesses.

Azmin said the allegations were based on facts already stated in a police report made by Bersatu’s youth wing on Feb 15.

Even before the charges were pressed against Wan Saiful and Adam Radlan, BN and Harapan leaders were already making statements about that eventuality.

Azmin pointed out that on Jan 13, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a new “court cluster” will emerge from PN.

“Court cluster” is a pejorative label referring to BN leaders who faced corruption and related charges, particularly during the Pakatan Harapan administration since 2018.

Then, Umno information chief Isham Jalil made a similar statement on Jan 27 even though there were no charges at the time.

Azmin also referred to Anwar’s past statements regarding the extent of graft allegedly found in previous administrations, with different amounts being announced before settling on RM300 million allegedly from Jana Wibawa.

When the charges were finally pressed against Wan Saiful and Adam Radlan, the total sum allegedly involved was only RM6.9 million – far less than any number Anwar mentioned before.

“The charges clearly show there is a conspiracy of slander against Bersatu and PN that has been poorly planned,” Azmin said. - Mkini

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