Umno ‘rapist’ in Cabinet: In the name of justice, form a public probe

By Mariam Mokhtar (Malaysia Chronicle)

I did not name him but others did. ‘He’ is Malaysia’s Cabinet minister who allegedly raped his Indonesian maid 3 years ago. He is a lawyer by profession and obtained his PhD from King’s College London.

In 2007 Malaysia nominated its Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage to replace the outgoing Commonwealth secretary-general, Don McKinnon, whose term would have expired in March 2008.

This minister was a strong contender for the post having once served as Foreign Minister. There had never been a secretary–general from Asia before and a Malaysian ‘victory’ was imminent. Countries in the region – Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand, also supported Malaysia’s bid.

Malaysia’s High Commission in London where the Commonwealth secretariat is based was geared up to lobby support for its candidate. Visiting Commonwealth heads of state were ready to meet this man. As part of Malaysian’s campaign, the candidate even planned a visit to London to rally support.

Then out of the blue, the nominee dropped his bombshell.

The strange thing was that hours earlier, he had been discussing the Malaysian campaign strategy with Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar at a Cabinet meeting.

The nominee’s announcement to withdraw from the race apparently shocked the Cabinet and stunned the government.

So what happened in those crucial hours from the time he finished discussing his campaign, to the time he made his personal announcement? Who did this man speak to? More importantly, who had contacted him? What was discussed that ‘persuaded’ him to withdraw his candidacy?

The proper procedure would have been for the government to announce any changes in the Malaysian Commonwealth bid. But this man did not, or could not wait.


Was he given an ultimatum or was he told that that was the best solution for all?

The reasons he gave in his sudden announcement was that he had ‘pressing duties to oversee celebrations of Malaysia’s 50th year of independence’.

He said, “My responsibilities (for the Merdeka celebrations) are far more important and furthermore, it is already too late (to campaign). So it’s better that I withdraw”.

Noble words indeed but they only added to intense speculation that something had cropped up that was being swept under the carpet.

Wikileaks and other cyber whispers have edged us closer to the truth and finally, the last piece of the puzzle provides us with a clue and answers those questions that were asked in 2007.

This man was allegedly accused of rape. The Prime minister at the time, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak were privy to this distasteful revelation.

But true to fashion, they had to protect the ‘good name’ of Umno. And themselves.

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