Thursday, February 26, 2015

Najib demands Harakah retract 1MDB article

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has given PAS’ organ Harakahdaily 48 hours to retract an article on 1MDB deemed defamatory.

Law firm Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak handed over a letter of demand to Harakahdaily managing director Dr Rosli Yaakop at 3pm Thursday demanding an unconditional apology in writing.

They also demand the retraction of its article Dana 1MDB Biaya Syarikat Filem Riza Aziz (Bhg 2) (1MDB Funding Riza Aziz’s Film Production Company) published on Feb 19.

Riza is Najib’s stepson.

The article was a commentary piece by Rosli based on a New York Times article on businessman Low Taek Jho’s role as a property investor published on Feb 12.

Harakahdaily is also required to give a written undertaking that it would stop repeating the defamatory statements.

Among the sentences deemed defamatory are that (businessman) Jho Lo was an intimate friend, regarded as part of the first family of Malaysia, and a trusted proxy.

Harakah had questioned where the funds were sourced, as the Prime Minister’s annual salary was only USD100,000 (RM358,00).

Harakahdaily had in the article implied elements of “money laundering”.

Other statements deemed defamatory include implying the Prime Minister had low moral, abuse power for personal interest, gaining wealth from dirty sources, and abusing 1MDB fund.

Najib is also demanding compensation for serious damage of reputation and for cost and expenses incurred in handling the matter.

Najib had given strict order to his lawyers to proceed with court action if Harakahdaily failed to response to the demand within the stipulated time frame.

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