Labuan MP: Muhyiddin’s aide, deputy minister tried to persuade me to ditch Warisan

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Labuan MP Rozman Isli has filed an application to strike out his corruption case linked to his time as Labuan Port Authority (LPA) deputy chairperson five years ago.

The former BN politician claimed that this is because the criminal court case was instituted over his refusal to cross over from Sabah-based opposition party Warisan to the ruling party, Bersatu.

On Oct 14 last year, before the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, Rozman claimed trial to one graft charge, which accused him of using his then position as LPA deputy chairperson to obtain a government contract for a company, whereby his father and sibling allegedly have an interest in.

During a press conference held immediately after he was charged that day, the accused claimed that he was charged over his refusal to defect from Warisan and back the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration.

According to a copy of his affidavit in support of the striking-out bid, Rozman claimed that among those who tried to persuade him to leave Warisan was an MACC officer, an aide of then prime minister Muhyiddin Yasin, and a deputy minister.

He alleged that these formed part of widespread efforts to try to get his support since Feb 29, 2020, following the Sheraton Move that saw the fall of the Pakatan Harapan administration and to the PN government, then helmed by Bersatu president Muhyiddin.

Rozman claimed that on March 16 that year, he was called in by MACC from Putrajaya to give a statement during a session that lasted six hours, when an officer from the antigraft agency allegedly asked why it was so difficult for the Warisan lawmaker to leave the party and back Muhyiddin.

“Why is it so difficult for YB (Yang Berhormat Rozman) to support our PM? If YB gives his support, then my job would be easier,” the MP claimed was told by the MACC officer.

Rozman alleged that later during the Ramadan period in 2020, he received a telephone call from Muhyiddin’s aide, whereby the Warisan lawmaker claimed, “I was offered the position of Perbadanan Labuan with the condition that I join PPBM (Bersatu) party and leave Warisan Sabah party”.

The Labuan MP claimed that the aide issued a threat that he would be hauled to court if he refused the offer to cross over to Bersatu, adding that he rejected the offer.

‘Miscarriage of justice’

Rozman alleged that in the middle of March last year, he was contacted by an officer from MACC headquarters to provide a date whereby he would be free to be hauled to court.

He said that the next day, he received a telephone call from his friend from Sabah, who offered to help him ensure the graft watchdog does not charge him, on condition that he joins Bersatu and supports Muhyiddin.

He, however, claimed he also rejected this offer when he met the friend at Kota Kinabalu on March 23 last year.

Rozman also contended that a few days after that, a deputy minister called him to meet the latter’s friend at MACC, who allegedly could help him prevent from being hauled to court. The applicant claimed he also rejected this offer.

The accused alleged that a few days afterwards, he was given a surprise notice to attend an examination by MACC on July 16 last year at the antigraft agency’s headquarters in Putrajaya.

Rozman said he was informed he would be charged at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex a few days later on July 23 (however, he was only later charged on Oct 14 last year).

He contended that he then lodged a police report on July 18 last year in order to protect himself and to clear his name as well as defend himself at court.

“I am advised by my counsel whereby I verily believe that this honourable court has the power to quash and/or set aside the charge against me which was done with malice, oppressive in nature and amounted to an abuse of court process.

“I am also advised by my counsel whereby I verily believe that a miscarriage of justice would happen if the charge against me is not set aside immediately.

“It would have the effect, to the people and voters of Labuan, as though I was faced with a criminal offence,” Rozman contended in the affidavit signed by him yesterday.

It was reported that the accused’s graft trial was fixed for five days beginning May 9. – Malaysiakini