Rohaizat blunder dominates BN, PAS campaigns

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PERMATANG PAUH: Day four of campaigning for the Permatang Pasir by-election on Aug 25 entered into a frenzied pace, with allegations, accusations and rumours filling the air as both Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS stepped up their efforts to outdo one another.

The highlight of the day was the revelation by BN candidate Rohaizat Othman’s former legal firm partner, Yusri Isahak, 39, who said the former was equally guilty of the criminal breach of trust involving RM161,000 of the Koperasi Pekebun Getah.

Rohaizat, who was struck off the advocates and solicitors roll by the Malaysian Bar Council on March 7 last year following complaints lodged by the cooperative, claimed Yusri was responsible with embezzling the money.

Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan said that Rohaizat was struck off due to his personal misconduct and not of his partner, nor his law firm.

Ragunath also said Rohaizat had appealed the decision of the disciplinary board to the High Court, which was dismissed on Aug 12 this year.

The Bar Council said the finding of misconduct is personal to Rohaizat as the disciplinary board would not hold a lawyer liable for the actions of his/her law partner.

Ragunath also said that even if the monies due had been settled, the offence committed was a serious matter, which was tantamount to criminal misconduct.

The emergence of Yusri has given PAS a shot in the arm in the run-up to the by-election and he is also expected to be a feature at the nightly ceramahs.

PAS elections director Datuk Mahfuz Omar once again urged Rohaizat to withdraw from contesting.

“He should withdraw otherwise we will reveal more misdeeds which he has committed, including cases involving voters in Permatang Pasir,” he said at a press conference.

Mahfuz also revealed that voters were being “bribed” to vote for BN, but with counterfeit money.

Three families in Kampung Petani received a used hand grenade containing an envelope with dud three RM100 notes.

A note with the “money” urged the voters to support BN and was signed off “Umno Selangor”.

Meanwhile, BN candidate Rohaizat chose to maintain his silence over his former legal firm partner’s allegations.

“I expected this to happen. Even if I say anything on Yusri’s statement it is going to be used against me by the PR anyway.

“I am not going to comment until I have read the entire statement and I do not want to jeopardise anything at this point of time.

“I will respond at an appropriate time,” he added.

Asked about his confidence to emerge victorious in the by-election, Rohaizat said that the response from voters was positive and he was confident of garnering their votes on Aug 25.-TheEdge