Press Statement by Karpal Singh in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 22nd October 2008: 

Money politics in UMNO - an offence under Anti Corruption Act

The revelation by Foreign Minister, Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, that there is prevalence of money, politics in the on-going UMNO divisional elections is a very serious matter. Rais Yatim himself has stated that he had been approached to pay money for votes.

Money politics constitutes an offence under the Anti-Corruption Act, 1997. It is an offence under section 10 of the Act and punishable under section 16. The penalty provided for under section 16 is imprisonment on conviction for a term of not less than 14 days and not more than 20 years.

Rais Yatim is a lawyer by profession and former Minister for Law. I am sure he is familiar with the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act. I would have thought he would have immediately, upon knowing of the prevalence of money politics in UMNO, lodged a report with the ACA. I wonder why he has not done so. In fact, it is an offence under section 17 (3) of the Anti-Corruption Act for any person from whom any gratification has been solicited or obtained at the earliest opportunity thereafter to report the matter to the nearest office of the Anti Corruption agency or police officer. Section 17 (4) renders any person who fails, without reasonable excuse, to cornply with snb-section 3, to be liable to punishment of a fine not exceeding RM10,000.00 or to imprisonment of a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.

I call upon Rais Yatim to forthwith explain why he has not lodged a report over his knowledge of prevalence of money politics in UMNO and the overtures made to him for money in exchange for votes. If no police report has been lodged, the Attorney-General should forthwith act against Rais Yatim under the provisions of section 17 (4) of the Anti- Corruption Act. Rais Yatim should set an example, and not detract from the compulsion under the law for him to lodge a report.

* Karpal Singh, DAP National Chairman & MP for Bukit Gelugor