Those not charged can contest, says DPM

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 25 Jan 2009

PEKAN: Umno candidates for the party elections in March being investigated for money politics can contest as long as they have not been charged.

Party deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said this was the party’s stand.

“If you are under investigation you can still contest but if you have been charged, then you cannot (contest).

“That is where we draw the line,” he told reporters after presenting schoolbags, uniforms and stationery to 2,000 pupils from schools in the Pekan parliamentary constituency here yesterday.

The contributions worth about RM300,000 were donated by the Amanah Raya Berhad. Its chairman Datuk Dusuki Ahmad was present at the event.

Najib said the same rule applied to delegates on their eligibility to cast their votes.

He said this when asked about the status of Umno members who had qualified to contest for party posts but were being investigated.

On Thursday, Beruas vice-chairman Azman Noh, primary school senior assistant Junaidi Abdul Hamid and businessman Johari Ibrahim were charged at the Sessions Court in Ipoh, Kuala Kuala Lumpur and Malacca respectively with offering bribes during the division elections last year .

However, 12 others who were arrested on Monday and Tuesday in Maran and Temerloh had been released pending the completion of investigations.

A senior Umno supreme council member, who has qualified to contest a supreme council seat in the polls, was also arrested.

Asked whether the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had come in because Umno had not been able to control money politics, Najib said the party was responding to the public’s call for Umno to be rid of money politics.

“We (Umno members) have to decide what we want. If we decide to clean up the party, this is the consequence.

“You have to accept the fact that those who have indulged in money politics in a very open and brazen way will be picked up once the MACC moves in.”

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