KUALA LUMPUR, (Nov 28) — Tenom Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Raime Unggi denied Friday that he, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and another MP had contemplated accepting an offer to switch to the opposition.
Under cross examination by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer Razlan Hadri Zulkifli, he said it never occurred to him, Anifah and Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee to accept the offer.
In fact, he said, Anifah had reacted angrily and resented it when propositioned at a meeting at Hilton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Razlan: Did you, Anifah and Kiandee make any media statement about the offer?
Razlan: Did you, Anifah, Kiandee thought about lodging a police report on the party hop persuasion attempt?
Razlan : I suggest to you, because you did not make any media statement or lodge a police report, that you were considering to party hop?
Raime: We never thought about accepting the offer to party hop.
Raime was testifying in Anwar’s RM100 defamation suit against Anifah, relating to the minister’s remarks at a media conference in Washington with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in May 2009.
Asked by Razlan again, why, if they were adamant about refusing the offer, did the discussions continue in Macau, China, Raime said there were efforts to influence them to switch from Barisan Nasional to the opposition.
Razlan: Why need a second meeting in Macau, if your heart had already decided against it. The secret meeting in Macau was about considering to party hop, agree?
Raime : I disagree.
Raime, 44, said the discussion about party hopping was first held at Le Meridien Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, then in Macau and finally at Hilton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Asked by Razlan about the purpose of his trip to Macau in 2008 after the 12th general election, the witness said Anifah invited him, and to his mind, it was for golf.
However when they arrived, they did not play golf but discussed about the party hop offer, he said.
The third defendant however agreed with Razlan’s suggestion that, had Anifah made a decision to switch to the opposition, he would have done the same.
“Anifah is my leader, I will follow my leader,” said Raime.
Raime said while at Le Meridien Hotel, Anifah informed him that the offer was not only made to him (Anifah) but all MPs in Sabah.
He said at the same hotel, Kiandee also shared with him that he had been offered RM5 million to switch to another party.
To Razlan’s question whether or not, Anwar made any mention about a party switch by the Kimanis MP (Anifah), Raime said he heard rumours about it and from Anwar’s ‘men’.
Earlier, during examination-in-chief by Anifah’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Raime said when Anifah arrived at the low cost carrier terminal in Sepang, from Macau, he received a telephone call.
“From Anifah’s reaction, it was an important call.
“I was thinking, the conversation must be about the same matter. When Anifah told me that the call was from the other side (opposition), I did not enquire further. Anifah merely gestured to me,” he said.
Meanwhile, the witness said he, Anifah and Kiandee later met at Hilton Hotel where Anifah had a conversation with someone. When he asked Anifah who it was, the latter told him that it was ‘Anwar’s man’.
“I could hear them talking. I heard an offer being made. If I am not mistaken, RM100 million. I believe the offer was for us to switch to the other side (opposition).
Muhammad Shafee: What was Anifah’s reaction?