Sivarasa: My staff were set up

SivarasaPETALING JAYA: Subang MP R Sivarasa alleged today that his three staff who were arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are victims of a set-up.

The PKR MP said he had no reason to believe that the trio, all of whom were detained yesterday, were guilty of the allegations the MACC was investigating them for.

The trio are Joshua Kalaiselvan, NicoKam, and Naveen Kularasa. Naveen, according to Sivarasa, is his nephew.

“I believe they are being framed and set-up by persons involved in the issues I had raised at a press conference,” he said in a statement issued this morning.

The press conference he was referring to was held in the Parliament complex on Aug 9 this year. There, he had put forward allegations of corrupt practices within the Immigration Department, involving a Bangladeshi named Monomiah Siddikur Rahman.

He said the information was provided to him by one Mohd Tahir Fazal.

“I was informed that the (MACC) investigation is about allegations that my staff had demanded money from parties related to the corruption allegation I raised in the said press conference.

“I reject these allegations against my staff. There is absolutely no logic whatsoever to any allegation that my staff had requested payment in connection with my raising the above issue.

“If any of my staff had asked for a bribe, as falsely alleged, why (would the persons they asked the bribe from) bother to pay the bribe, when they (the trio) have no control over anything that the Immigration Department may or may not do.”

Sivarasa then pointed to an article in The Star today, in which sources were quoted as saying that the trio was under investigation for allegedly “settling a case” with the Immigration Department without following proper procedures.

“This came to the knowledge of the three suspects who approached the company to solicit for kickbacks in order to turn a blind eye to the matter,” said the unnamed source in The Star’s report.

Sivarasa however said that the claim was “irrational”, as he was the one who had raised the allegations of corrupt practices in the Immigration Department.

Sivarasa said he had even written an official letter dated Aug 24, to the department’s director-general informing him of these allegations.

“My staff have no control whatsoever over the director-general.”

According to Sivarasa, two of the suspects, Joshua and NicoKam were arrested somewhere in Kuala Lumpur yesterday afternoon.

Naveen, who is also his political secretary, was arrested later in the evening after MACC officers visited his Kota Damansara service centre.

“I am not the object of the MACC investigation. I have provided the MACC with whatever information requested from me, in respect of these investigations,” said Sivarasa.

He said his staff would fully cooperate with the investigation.

“I hope that the MACC will conduct the investigations professionally, and conclude them quickly, so that my staff will not have to suffer a prolonged remand in custody,” he said.