Sunday, January 2, 2011

Elegant silence on rape claim

JAN 2 — This must be the only country in the world where serious allegations of rape perpetrated by a Cabinet minister is met with silence (or elegant silence, since the rape allegedly happened during the Abdullah administration).

To recap, a week ago several bloggers alleged that a current minister raped his Indonesian maid while serving in the Abdullah administration in 2007. Apparently, then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi covered up the crime and the minister continued his life unmolested.

Heck, he was not dropped from the Cabinet or cold-storaged. The maid who was allegedly raped, however, was sent home and her claims only came up in a report by Migrant Care, Indonesia’s migrant workers group.


Is there any truth to these allegations? Who knows? There has been absolutely nothing in either comment or denial from the minister (who has been identified by some bloggers).

The Migrant Care report on the matter is also circulating in cyberspace, with some lines blacked out although some have managed to use software tools to uncover the minister’s name.

The police, famously aggressive in breaking up peaceful assemblies and such, have not made any comment.

Silence has also been deafening from the Najib administration. It probably does not want any of the mud from this incident to find its way to this administration.

But what of Abdullah? He has seen fit to comment on everything from PKR’s troubles to the attendance of a DAP MP at an aerobic session at the grounds of a mosque.

But on this very, very serious allegation of concealing a crime, he has maintained an “elegant silence”.

Malaysians should not tolerate this silence. The minister or Abdullah has to address this allegation. The man who used to think of himself as Mr Clean should come clean.

If either he or the minister accused of rape has been wronged, they can sue the bloggers for defamation. They can even go the whole nine yards and try for criminal defamation, as was done in a case taken up against blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

But if the rape did take place and there was a cover-up, then the minister should be charged with rape and Abdullah should have to answer for concealing the crime.

Unless, of course, the police and authorities are telling us in a subtle way that Umno ministers are above the law.


The Malaysian Insider

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