'$40m to induce 10 MPs to jump'

'$40m to induce 10 MPs to jump'
Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the Malaysian Embassy in Algeria had been designated to look after Malaysia's interest in Libya.

KUALA LUMPUR - Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman told the High Court that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim attempted to entice him to "party-hop" with a sweetener that he will be made a deputy prime minister.

At the outset of his testimony yesterday, Anifah said he was also offered RM100 million (S$38.8 million) by businessman Datuk Ishak Ismail to induce 10 Sabah MPs to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat.

Anifah testified that he had received a call from businessman Tony Vun when he touched down at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal here from Macau in 2008. Anifah, who is also Kimanis MP, 61, said that Vun had told him that "someone" wished to speak to him and claimed that Vun later handed over the phone to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"I was walking to the LCCT terminal when I received the call from Vun. As soon as Anwar gave "Salam", then I knew that it was him," he claimed, when testifying in the hearing of a suit by Anwar against him yesterday.

He said it was at that time that Anwar tried to persuade him to "party-hop" with a promise that he would be made a deputy prime minister. Anifah also said all these were said over the telephone and the conversation occurred some time in mid 2008.

When asked by Anwar's counsel Razlan Hadri whether he was aware that some of his men (Sabah MPs) had been offered money and was it from Anwar's camp, Anifah replied, "Yes".

To another question on who was Ishak, Anifah replied that Ishak was a "businessman associated with KFC".

Anifah said Ishak wanted to see him previously, but he refused to grant him any time.

In May 2008, while he was smoking cigars with Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee and another Sabah MP at Hilton Sentral here, Anifah said he was approached by Ishak who was former KFC Holdings de­puty executive chairman.

Anifah said Ishak wanted to give him RM 100million to enable him to persuade 10 Sabah MPs to cross over.

"I was taken aback and angry. I felt cheap as I am the MP for three terms and I am committed to remaining in Barisan Nasional," he said, adding that he could not recall whether the incident happened before or after his Macau trip. On May 27, 2009, Anwar filed the suit against Anifah @ Haniff Amman and the Government over alleged libellous statements made against him abroad.

Anwar claimed the minister had, during a joint-press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department in Washington on May 16, 2009, linked his name to an alleged offer of a top Malaysian Cabinet post.

The PKR leader claimed the words uttered by Anifah that day implied that he was a dishonest person.

The hearing before High Court Judicial Commissioner Siti Khadijah Badjenid continues today.

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