March 17, 2004

Malaysian polls: 2 detained for allegedly
trying to bribe PAS candidate

JOHOR BAHRU: Anti-corruption officers in Malaysia have detained two men for questioning after the opposition claimed they tried to bribe one of its candidates into withdrawing from Sunday's elections.
The suspects admitted to being members of UMNO, the biggest party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, according to a PAS official.
The suspects, aged 40 and 45, had allegedly offered RM100,000 to Sanip Ithnin, 56, so that he would withdraw from the race in Johor's Pasir Raja state seat before the deadline for withdrawal ended at midnight Tuesday.
Sanip, of PAS, is involved in a straight fight with Halimah Mohd Sadique of the Barisan Nasional.
The suspects were arrested in Kulai, near Johor Bahru, on Tuesday.
The arrest comes at a time when Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is campaigning on an anti-corruption platform.
He has repeatedly warned his party's candidates to stay free of corruption.
And on Wednesday, Johor Mentri Besar and state UMNO chief Abdul Ghani Othman said those found guilty of bribery would have to face the consequences themselves as the party would have nothing to do with it. - CNA


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