Deny, refute or sue

By P. Ramakrishnan (President, Aliran)

Honour demands a response.

Is it a rumour – or is it a fact – that is swirling around in the internet implicating a minister in the Prime Minister’s cabinet of having raped his Indonesian maid? The implications are serious and cast doubts over the integrity of the Malaysian cabinet.

One blog has even gone to the extent of naming the minister as the culprit involved in this heinous crime. Disappointingly, the minister concerned has not denied or refuted the allegation. He has not even threatened to sue those making this allegation. His silence in the face of wide-spread circulation of his  alleged brutal conduct is bound to have repercussions on the Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional.

Silence is not an option – honour demands a response.

It is incumbent on the Prime Minister to defend the integrity of his cabinet members. So far there has been no response from the PM. His silence does not bode well for his government or for his image.

At the least, Malaysians would expect the PM to rally round the members of his cabinet and declare that they are above suspicion and that their integrity is intact. He has not done that.

Surprisingly, this alleged criminal activity is believed to have taken place in 2007 when Abdullah Badawi was the Prime Minister and Najib was the DPM. Malaysians would find it hard to believe that they were unaware of this crime, if it had taken place. Was there a cover up to save the minister concerned?

If that was the case, why did Najib appoint him as a minister in his cabinet instead of dropping him? He owes us an explanation. It is reported that the Indonesian maid who was allegedly a rape victim was sent home. Didn’t the Indonesian government take up this matter since one of their  nationals was apparently brutalised by the lust of a cabinet minister? Or was it a case of sacrificing the dignity of a poor maid in the interest of preserving bilateral relations of Malaysia and Indonesia?

Aliran calls upon the Prime Minister to shed some light on this matter and dispel the rumours that are bound to have damaging consequences on his government. Malaysians have a right to deserve a cabinet that is untainted and unblemished. It is the PM’s responsibility to ensure that.