PKR sec-gen probed for defaming EC deputy
UPDATED @ 08:33:04 PM 05-08-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — The police are investigating PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail for criminal defamation over the latter’s allegation that Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar was an Umno member.
PKR lawyer Latheefa Koya confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that the Machang MP recorded his statement under section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) at the Putrajaya police district headquarters at about 10.30am today.
She said Saifuddin was being investigated for criminal defamation under Section 500 of the Penal Code over his allegation in a May interview with Malay daily Sinar Harian that the Wan Ahmad (picture) holds an Umno membership.
“We find this ridiculous. They could have sued Saifuddin in a civil suit... for defamation. There was no need to use the police to go after him,” she said when contacted here.
Saifuddin had claimed in early May this year that the EC deputy chief is a member of the Kubang Bunggor Umno branch in Pasir Mas, Kelantan and that his membership number is 2374564.
Wan Ahmad, however, denied this, and said that Saifuddin was actually referring to an Umno member with a similar name.
On May 6, Sinar Harian carried a report quoting Umno member Wan Ahmad Wan Omar as saying Saifuddin had confused him with EC deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad, and that both of them coincidentally shared the same name.
The stall trader said he felt “compelled” to come out and refute Saifuddin’s claims, and that he sympathised with Datuk Wan Ahmad who was subject to much criticism over the issue.
But Saifuddin refused to admit he may have been wrong in his accusation, insisting that his purported "mistake" did not mean Wan Ahmad was not an Umno member, pointing out that the EC deputy chairman had previously admitted to joining the country’s biggest Malay party.
“That might have happened (the mistake). Umno has 3.3 million members nationwide; I might have mistaken which branch Wan Ahmad belongs to.
“But the onus is now on Wan Ahmad himself. He has previously admitted to being an Umno member, only that he could not remember when... so tell us, which branch does he belong to?” Saifuddin told The Malaysian Insider on May 6.