Apologise for ‘false’ claims or face lawsuit, Anwar tells NST
KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today issued a demand warning New Straits Times (NST) to apologise and retract a report claiming he had ordered the chief executive of a bank to transfer public money into private accounts, or face court action for defamation.
The former Umno minister-turned-PKR leader was referring to the NST’s front page report yesterday titled, “Anwar gave order”.
His party colleague, PKR vice-president N. Surendran, accused the country’s oldest newspaper of having a “malicious” political agenda in highlighting claims from sources linked to an old investigation and described the reports as a worrying trend of “false and dishonest reporting by BN-owned media”.
“These are politically motivated allegations, which were falsely and maliciously published by the Umno-owned newspaper... in an attempt to cause maximum political damage to the opposition leader,” Surendran said in a media statement.
Surendran also urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to stop the personal attacks and debate fairly on national policy issues.
Anwar, a former deputy prime minister who also controlled the Finance portfolio until his dramatic sacking in 1998, has come under attack in the BN-friendly mainstream media as talk of polls that must be called by next year intensifies.
Several Umno-owned or -linked newspapers have been publishing reports alleging that Anwar owned 20 master accounts worth RM3 billion while in power.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has also been directed to reopen investigations into former Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid’s allegations made nearly 13 years ago.