(Harakah Daily) - The arrest this morning of PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli over his involvement in revealing shocking financial misappropriation in the National Feedlot Corporation was greeted by statements of support from Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
Rafizi was arrested at his house to be charged under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA), hours after a report confirmed that the Ampang LRT extension project had been awarded to a joint venture between Lion Pacific and George Kent, the latter a company which Rafizi earlier revealed as having failed an evaluation test for the job.
Also charged today was bank clerk Johari Mohamad for his alleged role in exposing bank accounts linked to the NFC.
Rafizi himself could not help linking his arrest to the LRT exposé.
"(Is it) mere coincidence that the contract for the Ampang LRT extension to George Kent was announced yesterday and I was picked up this morning? Next week I will be facing the (hearing of the Shahrizat Abdul Jalil) defamation suit,” he was quoted by news portal Malaysiakini.
PAS Kuala Selangor member of parliament Dzulkefly Ahmad who was with Rafizi this morning at the Shah Alam court said he was convinced the charge was to deflect from the scandal involving the LRT project.
According to him, the haste in which Rafizi was being dragged to court signalled desperation on the part of prime minister Najib Razak, adding that more "blunders" were in the pipeline.
"This will put Najib's administration to extreme disrepute. The messenger is exposed and criminalised! What message do we want to send to all well-wishers of democracy that is open and transparent?" asked Dzulkefly.
Rafizi had last month produced documents showing George Kent, a company which supplied water metre readers, marked as being not qualified for the job. However, he alleged that Najib had interfered to ensure the company, owned by his friend Tan Kay Hock, would get the lucrative contract worth more than RM1 billion.
DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang said the prosecution of Rafizi showed Najib’s 'iron fist' at work.
“Greatest crime in UMNO-BN Malaysia is not corruption but expose of corruption. Janji Ditepati," he remarked, mocking the controversial Merdeka theme.
"Country and good sensible Malaysians behind you. You have put Najib in national and international dock. GTP, ETP etc in tatters,” he told Rafizi.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim meanwhile applauded Rafizi for his courage in exposing the NFC and the LRT extension project.
PAS Youth meanwhile described Rafizi's arrest as part of BN's "politics of vengeance".
"This nation is going on the path of destruction if the crime of corruption is ignored while action is taken against whistleblowers. Such politics of vengeance, punishing an individual for speaking the truth, is a despicable act by those who reject truth," said the wing's vice-head Raja Ahmad al-Hiss meanwhile in a statement.