Shocking allegations have emerged about the alleged use of corruption and sex in negotiations involving the government of Malaysia's Selangor state.
The allegations were revealed on Thursday (May 19) by Rafizi Ramli, a lawmaker and the vice president of opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), against the state's administration that is led by his own party.
He said that he had purportedly received complaints via Whatsapp messages from "bona fide individuals" that apart from money, there were now requests for women being made when dealing with the state government, online news portal Malaysiakini reported.
He added that he was still collecting information on the issue.
The government of Selangor, Malaysia's richest state, has been led by PKR since the 2008 general elections.
According to The Malay Mail Online, Mr Rafizi, who is the member of parliament (MP) for the federal constituency of Pandan, said that he had evidence on the matter but was restraining himself from revealing them as it would damage his party.
However on Friday (May 20), The Star reported that Selangor menteri besar (chief minister) Azmin Ali denounced the allegations, saying that there was no evidence and that it was a "systematic smear campaign" against his government.
Meanwhile, a Selangor assemblyman has urged Mr Rafizi to report the matter to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. "We cannot cover up corruption," Mr Rajiv Rishyakaran, from the Democratic Action Party (DAP), wrote on Facebook.
This episode is the latest blow to Malaysia's stuttering opposition alliance, which comprises PKR, DAP and splinter group Amanah. It comes at a time when there have been public disagreements over which parties should contest in two upcoming by-elections.
Islamic Party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) used to be part of the opposition alliance, but left last year after feuding with PKR and DAP. PAS leaders who disagreed with the decision broke away to form Amanah. PKR, DAP and Amanah then formed a new coalition called Pakatan Harapan.
The opposition also suffered a heavy defeat at the recent state elections in Sarawak, which saw the incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition improve its majority after winning 72 out of 82 seats in a landslide victory.