Malaysian Official Denies Rape Allegations

Information Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim today denied an allegation that he had raped his Indonesian maid in 2007, describing the accusations as “wild” and inspired by bloggers and opposition political parties.

"I refute the allegations, whether they are about raping any individual four years ago or any other allegation, raised by bloggers on the Internet or by any political entity," he said in a statement sent to Malaysiakini, the independent Malaysian website.

Asia Sentinel carried the story on Jan. 3, citing a three-page document from Migrant Care, a non-government organization which interviewed the maid after she had returned to Indonesia. Confusion arose initially because reports said the allegations arose from a WikiLeaks release from the 250,000-odd diplomatic cables that a US Army private first class delivered to the website. There was no evidence that that was true.

Rais, a 69-year-old UMNO stalwart who has served in at least three governments, described the "wild allegations" against him as “heaps of libellous statements and awful, ugly and wicked lies,” Malaysiakini reported.

"I state readily that any report by anyone so far related to this matter should be investigated under the country's laws," he said.

Rais said he and his family members were prepared to extend full cooperation in such an investigation, and would accept and comply with any outcome of the official probe.