KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin wants the police to take seriously the allegations of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) funding blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin's stay in London.
Noting the allegations made by Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim, who had claimed to have documents to prove his former party is sponsoring Raja Petra, Khairy said: "Let's be very clear. RPK (Raja Petra) is not a political exile who has sought asylum. RPK is a fugitive.
"Anyone harbouring or supporting a fugitive must also be investigated. If indeed PKR is sponsoring or supporting a fugitive, it is wrong."
Since Zahrain claims to have evidence of PKR's involvement, Khairy said the police must not turn a blind eye. "The police have said they're looking into the matter, so I hope they take the claims seriously."
Earlier this week, Khairy rapped the police for not taking action against Raja Petra, despite the fact the blogger was openly seen in London and had made public appearances.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein said the police had taken the needed action for the case, including meeting up with the UK Metropolitan Police.
Then, on Wednesday, Zahrain dropped a bombshell when he claimed to have evidence of PKR sponsoring Raja Petra's stay in London. Zahrain said the evidence — a number of documents — had been given to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz via email.
He added this proof will be revealed "at the right time".
Meanwhile, PKR leaders appear to be unperturbed by Zahrain's claims. PKR strategic director Tian Chua said there was no harm if it was discovered PKR had sponsored Raja Petra.
"If there is something illegal and sinister about RPK being in London and his sponsors are up to no good, then the authorities should waste no time and act.
"Maybe when the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) were supposed to fly to London to interview Bala (private investigator P. Balasubramaniam), the police should also have taken the opportunity to tag along. The fact is they don't dare to do so," said the Batu MP.
"Even so, let's say RPK says he doesn't have money to pay for his rent and a 'friend' offers to pay for him, there is nothing wrong in that!"
Tian Chua said the more important issue which needed to be established was if RPK was guilty of any crime.
"Prove there is basis to charge RPK for sedition and whether what RPK claimed on his blog is true or false."
Tian Chua even took a sarcastic jab at Zahrain, claiming the latter, who quit PKR earlier this year to become an independent MP, was raising this issue for his own political mileage.
"Maybe Zahrain felt he needed to be in the limelight. In any case, I respect his 'hard work'."
Then, reiterating the party's allegations that Zahrain and other now-independent elected representatives had been offered huge sums to quit PKR, Tian Chua added: "Maybe he needed to prove his money's worth."
PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin also said Zahrain was merely seeking cheap publicity. "We have been hearing about all these claims of having proof or evidence implicating RPK and such. But, until now, nothing has come out."
The Ampang MP said: "If you indeed have proof, then be a gentleman, come out and show them. It is not important who sponsors RPK. So what? It's not like the government's money us being used."
Raja Petra, 59, fled the country after two arrest warrants were issued against him for failing to attend court for his sedition trial in April and May last year. He resurfaced last month in London.