No MACC probe into RM300 offer to reporters

(NST) The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will not investigate the alleged RM300 "gift" to reporters covering the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election.

A commission official said no investigation paper would be opened as the reporters who said they received the money at a media centre there could not identify the giver.

The official also said as most of the reporters covering the by-election were outsiders and did not vote in the by-election, the motive for giving the money could not be ascertained.

He also said it was unfair to accuse Umno or the Barisan Nasional of paying off the reporters, adding that claims by the opposition that Umno had bribed the voters were untrue.

"Otherwise, Pas would not have won in the by-election."

BN candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh had denied he had anything to do with the claims of reporters who were allegedly given the money.

Two journalists from Chinese-language online news portal Merdeka Review lodged a report on the matter at the Terengganu police headquarters. It was reported that RM300 was distributed to more than a dozen journalists at the state information department's media centre.

The journalists were asked to list their names, the organisation they worked for and telephone numbers on a blank piece of paper by a media centre staff before being given a white envelope containing six RM50 notes.

The media centre staff could not answer when quizzed about the source of the money. The Information Ministry also denied making any payment to journalists.