Malaysian minister denies raping Indonesian maid

A Malaysian Cabinet minister denied he had raped his Indonesian maid four years ago.

Last Updated: Jan 05, 2011, 20:34 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian Cabinet minister
today denied he had raped his Indonesian maid four years ago,
saying the allegations circulating on the Internet are part of
a campaign to discredit the government before general
elections.

The accusations against Information Minister Rais
Yatim were made by an Indonesian labour activist group in an
internal report that was leaked and made its way into blog
postings.

Rais, who had remained silent until now, issued a
strong denial through the state news agency, Bernama. Without
naming anyone, he blamed bloggers and opposition parties for
"ugly and wicked lies."

"I deny the allegations, whether it involves raping
any individual four years ago or any other accusation raised
by wild writers on the Internet or by any political party," he
said in the statement.

The allegations are a new blow to ties between
Malaysia and Indonesia, and to Prime Minister Najib Razak`s
effort to consolidate his government amid expectations that he
will call early general elections, which are not due until
2013.

Rais, 68, said he and his family members were prepared
to extend full cooperation to an investigation.

The alleged rape was reported by Indonesian activist
group Migrant Care, which interviewed the maid in 2007 before
she returned to Indonesia. A Migrant Care official, who
declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the case,
confirmed the group had handled the case but refused to
elaborate.

He said the woman doesn`t want to make public
comments.

It is not clear how the report was leaked, but it made
its way onto the Internet late last month. The blogs claimed
that the case was covered up by the government of then Prime
Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who stepped down in 2009.

Indonesian Embassy officials couldn`t immediately be
reached for comment.

PTI