Khairy to Sue Rafizi over Rantau Comments, as Streram Disputes IGP

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Khairy alleges Rafizi used racial sentiments by provoking Indians against BN while Streram disputes the IGP on the former’s candidacy denial, claiming cops threatened to cuff him.

Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth chairman Khairy Jamaluddin is planning to take legal action over allegations by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli that he was responsible for the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to bar PKR candidate Dr S Streram from entering the nomination centre at the Seri Rembau Hall on Saturday as he did not have a candidate pass.

“I will take action against Rafizi… This is a serious matter as I am an election candidate. This is about the credibility of the election in Rembau, and I’m going to drag him to court. 

“I want him to be brought to justice because he has many defamation cases, the latest being the (Dr Streram) case in Rantau. Let the courts decide,” he told reporters in Seremban yesterday.

Streram was forcibly removed by the police after trying to enter the centre anyway.

As a result, Rantau incumbent Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan was announced as the first winner in GE14, winning the state seat uncontested.

Rafizi had tweeted: “@PDRMsia had obstructed PH candidate from filing nomination forms for Rantau state seat. To give Mentri Besar Mat Hassan a walkover.”

He also claimed Streram had been “purposely kicked out” as Hasan and Rembau incumbent Khairy were “afraid to lose”, FMT reported.

Khairy said although Rafizi had made many remarks about him before and gotten away with it, he would not let the Pandan incumbent off the hook this time as it involved the integrity of the May 9 general election.

Khairy, who is also Umno Youth chief and BN’s candidate for the Rembau parliamentary seat, said Rafizi’s “baseless accusation” and his spread of false news via his Facebook and Twitter accounts were an offence under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018.

Khairy said his lawyer would file a letter of demand to Rafizi to withdraw his statement.

“If Rafizi does not retract the defamatory remarks he made against me, then I will file a defamation suit against him,” he said.

Khairy said Rafizi had also allegedly raised racial sentiments among the Indian voters in the state and the Rembau parliamentary seat by saying that a candidate from the minority had been rejected to contest in GE14, inciting the voters to rise in “revenge” against BN.

“This is an extremely irresponsible act…playing with racial sentiments.

“PKR is said to be a multiracial party but yesterday Rafizi proved that he was a politician willing to bank on racial sentiments.

“I hope that the Indians will not easily fall for this racial game by PKR but will continue to support me and other BN candidates in the state and the Rembau parliamentary constituency for my service to the constituents.”

On Saturday, Umno Youth lodged a police report against Rafizi over his reportedly defamatory remark on social media regarding Hasan’s victory.

Meanwhile, Rafizi says Streram could easily have won if he was allowed to contest as he had been working hard in Rantau for the past two years.

“Streram has been knocking on thousands of doors in Rantau over the past two years, working hard. I can say that the Negeri Sembilan menteri besar…would most likely lose,” he was quoted saying.

On April 28, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun refuted claims that the police denied Streram entry into the nomination centre at Rembau.

He said the allegations were baseless.

“Our personnel stationed there were merely ensuring security in the area,” he told reporters.

He said the move to deny entry to the candidate was made by the returning officer and policemen were merely responding to requests for help from election officials.

However, Streram disputed this.

“He is lying. The police pushed me down. They said they would handcuff me. 

Ham Abu Bakar

“There were about 20 police officers, they were holding my chest,” he told a press conference in Seremban on Saturday.

Video footage showed Streram trying to get in while police formed a line to prevent him from doing so.

Streram also denied forgetting to bring his pass, stating that it had not been issued to him.

The 62-year-old anesthesiologist said he paid the election deposit on Wednesday and got the nomination forms, but was not informed about the need for a pass.

He said he learnt about the requirement on Friday and rushed to the Rembau district office to get the pass, but the office had closed.

He added that an election official present had told him that he could get the pass at the nomination centre on nomination day.

“So at 8am, I arrived at the nomination centre (to pick up my pass)…but they said I didn’t have a permit to enter the nomination centre even though my nomination forms were complete,” he said.

Streram said he then tried to get other people to submit his nomination form on his behalf, but they too were blocked by police from entering the nomination centre on grounds that they also did not have a pass.

He said during the negotiations, an election official came out of the nomination centre and promised to resolve the problem but nothing happened.

As the deadline for the nomination process loomed, Streram said he and his seconder tried to ignore police to push into the nomination centre but were held back by cops.

Streram cited a similar situation at the Pandan nomination centre in Kuala Lumpur, where Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) Jenice Lee also did not have a pass but was allowed into the nomination centre.

“I will hold a press conference in Kuala Lumpur next week…and we will take the police, election officials and EC to court,” he said.

The Election Commission has said it will refrain from commenting on the issue as an internal inquiry and police investigation are ongoing.