The Kapar MP threatens to reveal details, including names, of monetary offers he has allegedly received from BN.
Manikavasagam, popularly known as Mike, said he was warning all Barisan Nasional leaders not to force his hand, not to “challenge” him.
He said he was considering suing former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Khir Toyo over allegations that he had sought RM10 million from the latter as inducement to leave PKR.
He also said that he would file a police report tomorrow against blogger M Zakrul Adam for posting a “false article” on the allegation on the blog www.sel13.com last Wednesday.
In the article, entitled “MP Kapar minta RM10 juta dari Dr Khir Toyo untuk keluar PKR” (Kapar MP asks for RM10 million from Dr Khir Toyo to leave PKR), Zakrul claimed that Manikavasagam had made this demand of Khir during a meeting in the Grand Blue Wave hotel in Shah Alam.
Manikavasagam issued a denial soon after the article was posted. He said it was Khir who had “jokingly” made the offer. Khir responded by warning Manikavasagam not to “twist the facts”, saying it was the PKR man who made the approach.
At a press conference this morning, Manikavasagam acknowledged that the meeting did take place, but he said it was a chance meeting and not an arranged one as Khir had claimed.
“I had sent my client to the Umno building next to the hotel and had gone to the hotel’s coffee house to wait when Khir walked in,” he explained.
“He came to my table and joked that there was RM5 to 10 million waiting for me if I left PKR for BN. The conversation lasted less than five minutes.”
Manikavasagam said he did not take Khir’s remarks seriously, having been inundated with similar offers before. He said the offers had continued coming, even as late as 24 hours ago.
According to him, the offers came from BN’s top leadership, who sent their “runners and brokers” to wait outside his private residence and office for hours. He also claimed that there was a failed kidnap attempt on his family in a move to force him to leave PKR.
“Even Malaysia’s number one men have tried but failed,” he said. “I have evidence of this, which I will reveal in time if anyone of them challenges me further. But I won’t mention any names for now.
“I am very clear that I am with Pakatan. So don’t waste your time trying to buy me. The people have voted for me and I will not betray them.”
The real version
Manikavasagam questioned why Khir had waited four years to bring up this issue when he could have done so earlier, even a day after the meeting at the hotel.
He ventured that it must be because Khir “couldn’t handle” the “real version” of the story. Manickavasagam has been giving his version at PKR ceramahs.
Manikavasagam also provided an answer to Khir’s sarcastic query as to what the former’s “speciality” was that he would offer him RM10 million.
“It is to get back the Indian votes for BN,” he said. “The top BN men have said they don’t want (former MIC president) Samy Vellu but me in order to save the Indians.”
Manikavasagam’s version of the hotel meeting with Khir was backed by his PKR colleague and Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo-Burne, who said that they had had a “good laugh” over Khir’s offer.
“Manikavasagam told me about it right after the meeting took place and we thought it was funny,” Loh said. “He tells it at all his ceramahs; so it isn’t even a secret.”
Loh added that he, as well as many other Pakatan Rakyat MPs, were used to being approached by their BN and independent counterparts encouraging them to jump ship.
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who was at today’s press conference, urged Khir to lodge a police report against Manikavasagam instead of going to the media if he had proof that the Kapar MP offered to switch sides for money.
“Umno and BN’s money politics is common knowledge,” he said. “You never have to ask them for money. They will offer it to you on their own.”