Former Malaysian Indian minister told to explain bribe charge

April 10th, 2009 - 12:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, April 10 (IANS) A former Malaysian Indian minister, who has returned after a two-month stay in India’s Chennai city, has been asked to explain the charge that he was offered a bribe to quit his party that is in the opposition.
The Star newspaper Friday said V. Arumugam had been “whisked away” after he charged that he was offered RM five million ($380,000 approx.) for quitting the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) headed by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Soon after he made his charge and quit as the deputy chairman of the party’s Kedah state unit, he “went missing” and was understood to have left for India.

Arumugam sent in his resignation letter to the Kedah assembly speaker, both as the state minister and as legislator.

The speaker and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wanted to find out if the letter was genuine and the signature on it was not under duress.

Now that he has returned, the commission is hoping Arumugam would help it investigate his claim, the report said.

Arumugam could volunteer information to the ACC instead of waiting for it to look him up, an official said.

Arumugam’s alleged disappearance was also attributed to his marital problems, but was later denied.

The newspaper said that Arumugam, his wife Mariaee and their daughter and son were lodged “in a safe house” on their return.

A PKR official said the living arrangements were “for the family’s safety”.

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