KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik claimed today that the statutory rape accusation against him in 1994 and the subsequent trial by media was a “dirty conspiracy”, planned to result in his and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s downfall.
The former Umno vice-president said he was at that time a “rising star” and Dr Mahathir’s “blue-eyed boy”, and was forced to relinquish his post as Melaka chief minister due to the investigations and not because of any apparent guilt.
“All this negative perception was not true and a lie. It was the dirtiest political conspiracy that has ever happened in this country’s history,” he said in a public post on his Facebook page.
“There was an agenda and grand design at that time to cut me down, coming from smouldering political jealousy and a planned effort to prematurely kick out the prime minister then.”
Dr Mahathir’s first period as the prime minister was between 1981 and 2003. He has since returned as prime minister after leading Pakatan Harapan to win the May 9 polls.
Rahim said he had at that time organised several programmes as chief minister and Umno Youth leader, including a protest against Russia to defend Muslim Chechens, which had resulted in fame for Umno and the country back then — causing jealousy among his political rivals.
In 1994, Rahim was accused of statutory rape against a 15 year-old. However, the Attorney-General then had decided not to press charges.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had then criticised the Barisan Nasional government for the lack of action against Rahim’s alleged rape, and was then charged under Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
Lim was jailed for 18 months, but was released after 12 months. He is currently finance minister in the Pakatan Harapan government helmed a second time by Dr Mahathir as seventh prime minister.
Rahim was also accused and charged with corruption, but the charges were later dropped.
Rahim claimed today he was defamed in the media for 52 days, and was even hounded while on holiday in Singapore and London — part of a conspiracy for him to quit politics out of shame.
“The violence of media that attacked me, even when I was innocent, was outside the limits of humanity, motivated by the conspiracy created by the leaders,” he said.
He also claimed that the forensics team from Kuala Lumpur Hospital told him that the evidence against him did not exist, and had urged him to take legal action over the matter.
“I should have made this revelation way much earlier than now, to prevent me from getting tainted by slander and suspicion,” Rahim said.