KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must investigate allegations that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) was enticing members of other parties into its ranks using cash, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said.

He said the MACC must urgently examine the claims that first emerged when Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wadji Dusuki alleged that Bersatu has been “stealing and buying Umno members”.

The DAP lawmaker said that while party hopping has been normalised in recent months, it was entirely illegal to use cash for this end.

“Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wadji Dusuki’s claim that he has strong evidence that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia has been ‘stealing and buying Umno members’ is a serious one which merits immediate attention and I wonder if the MACC has done so.

“This is reminiscent of a leaked audio recording of a man resembling now Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin enticing Umno leaders to join his party with promises of positions in the Cabinet and GLCs before the infamous Sheraton Move in March last year.

“Has the MACC taken any action in respect of the said audio recording? It has been nearly a year. I have raised this in Parliament as well,’’ he said in a statement today.

Ramkarpal was referring to a series of leaked audio recordings allegedly of Bersatu leaders discussing early last year how to convince Umno to ally with the party. 

In July, Ramkarpal was barred from playing the clips by the Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said on the grounds that the former did not give prior notice to play the recording.

Today, he said the MACC was obliged to launch an investigation even if no report has been made as the alleged enticement was an offence under the MACC Act 2009.

He said Asyraf’s statement alone was sufficient to trigger such an investigation.

Bersatu has since threatened to sue the Umno Youth leader over his remarks.