Friday, 16 March 2012

PKR leaders: RPK conjuring ‘fairy tales’


Teoh El Sen March 15, 2012
Three PKR leaders named by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin have denied several allegations, including the claim that a US$10 million kickback was requested from a developer in order to settle its problems with the state.

PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Tian Chua has denied allegations made by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin that he had asked US$10 million as “election funding” from a company that sought his assistance in moving its stalled project in Selangor.
“Its a fairy tale,” the Batu MP told FMT and laughed when told about the amount involved.
“Ten million? Does he know the value of money? It’s a fairy tale that he is making up,” he said, adding that he had not read the posting by the blogger and therefore could not comment in detail.
“That’s all I can say for now until I see what was actually written. I seldom read his blog now. His writing is really getting worse and worse,” he said.
Asked if he had actually met with representatives from the company named in the article, Azam dan Azan Sdn Bhd (AASB), Tian Chua said he could not remember.
The PKR leader said that he needed to read the article in more detail and give a further response – which includes taking legal action for defamation.
Earlier today, Raja Petra alleged that AASB, which was involved in an agreement with the Selangor government to build a new Selayang market several years ago, had sought help from PKR leaders around 2009 when its project got stalled.
Raja Petra claimed that the company had spoken to Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian as well as Selayang MP William Leong but was at last referred to Tian Chua as the latter was supposedly close to Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.
Raja Petra alleged in his website Malaysia-Today that the company was told by Tian Chua to donate US$10 million to PKR as “election funds”. AASB was also told to seek RM70 million in compensation from the state government over losses suffered from its already completed project in Selayang.
The blogger also claimed that AASB was also told that it should abandon its yet-to-be completed project because the land was going to be given to a PKR leader, who was unnamed, to take over.
Meanwhile, the two other PKR leaders who were named in the posting had also responded to Raja Petra’s allegations.

Leong calls it ‘fiction’

Leong, who also laughed at Raja Petra’s claims, said:”Unfortunately it is a fiction of Raja Petra or whoever who gave him the story.”
The Selayang MP admitted that AASB had approached him for help sometime in 2008 and 2009 with regard to the privatisation of the Selayang Baru market, but he said Tian Chua or Baru were never involved.
“Baru is in Sarawak!” exclaimed Leong.
He said according to the agreement with AASB, the developer was supposed to hand over 84 apartments to the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) as part of the deal but was only given about four to six.
“They approached me for help and I spoke to the local council about this. When we looked at it, it didn’t look like a deal good for the MPS.
“One, it had taken so long, the number of traders (in the old market) had grown, they were unable to fit into the new market. Two, they were unhappy over being told to move out, plus the new market had several levels, and the traders didn’t want to do business on so many floors,” he added.
For all these reasons, as well as others, Leong said that he represented the case to Khalid and it was decided that the contract would be terminated.
“The state decided to terminate the agreement with AASB. They still came to see me, but I said that it is the position of the state and we would have to see how it can be resolved,” he added.
On the allegation of a request for kickbacks, Leong said that it was “nonsense”.
“It does not make sense. I am the one who represented the hawkers to talk to the menteri besar, and we decided to kick out the company, so there was no way that we were going to reverse our position.
“That is absolute nonsense. There was no reason to go back to the menteri besar who had already decided to terminate the contract. As of today, we are already in the process of re-tendering the project,” he added.
Leong said that if AASB was still unhappy, it had the right to sue the government.
However, the PKR leader said he did not want to waste time responding to Raja Petra’s allegations or even bring about a suit.
“Why so much trouble. He is not in Malaysia. All I can say is that he has switched his targets recently,” he added.
Baru: I am flattered

Meanwhile, Baru said that he “categorically denies RPK’s allegation that he had introduced AASB to Tian Chua”.
The Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman said that this was the first time he had heard of the company’s name and had no knowledge of the dealings described in the story.
“I am very amused by the latest chapter in RPK’s novel and flattered by the fact that he and his masters deem me enough of a threat to the ruling government to attempt to smear my name together with that of Tian Chua and Khalid,” he said in a blog posting.
“Malaysians are matured and sensible enough not to believe accusations made without any supporting evidence. We expect more of these baseless stories to be manufactured in the next few months as we approach the 13th general election. Such is the extent of the desperation on the part of those with vested interests,” he added.
Baru said that he would be discussing with party leaders in Kuala Lumpur on the appropriate action to be taken against RPK.
Meanwhile, several attempts to obtain a response from AASB failed. An AASB staff said all of their managers were either not available, or not in the country.

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