A RM30 million joke

(NST) KAPAR: Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam has rubbished rumours that he has been offered RM30 million to switch to the Barisan Nasional, adding it was the work of jealous politicians.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader said the accusation came about as certain party leaders were feeling threatened by his popularity and were trying to twist facts to make him look bad.

Manikavasagam admitted that he had been approached to join BN but had not been offered any money.

"I immediately rejected it as I will live or die with Parti Keadilan Rakyat," he told the New Straits Times after meeting about 100 party members and the public at his service centre here yesterday.

He said the approach from the BN came after he said he would be resigning as deputy state PKR liaison chief. He said the rumours that he had been bought over arose after a conversation over tea with a BN leader during the Permatang Pauh by-election.

He said the BN leader had jokingly asked him to join BN for a payment of RM30 million.

"We both laughed at that. He is a good friend and we had tea. That's all that happened but it has been twisted to look like I had been bought over."

Manikavasagam reiterated that he had decided to remain in PKR even though he had yet to meet party de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said certain leaders seemed to have a hidden agenda against him as they had turned the Klang Sentral bus station issue into a racial issue.

"I just don't know how a bus station issue became an Indian issue. I am lost."

He said he had also been raising Indian issues as he was an Indian leader but he had been serving his constituents without regard for race or religion.

"It just happens that there are many Indian issues in Kapar."

On the gathering by a group of Indian PKR members in front of PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya, he asked why a group of Indians from Kedah should come to show support for Anwar as this was a Selangor issue, and they did not know the issues under contention.

He said he would be leaving for India today to attend a conference. He said he would be meeting Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy there and they would jointly meet Indian ministers.

"We will seek their assistance to ask the Malaysian government to release the five Hindraf leaders detained under the Internal Security Act."

The meeting yesterday was held to explain current events to the people in Kapar and his position on these issues.