Anwar sends letter of demand to Pendang MP over defamatory statement

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

22/02/2023 07:26 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has sent a letter of demand to Datuk Awang Solahuddin Hashim, seeking an unconditional apology from the Pendang Member of Parliament regarding the defamatory statement he made against the Prime Minister in the Parliament lobby yesterday.

Anwar, 75, who is also Pakatan Harapan chairman sent the letter of demand through Messrs. SN. Nair & Partners today.

According to lawyer Datuk SN Nair, Awang Solahuddin is given three days from the date he received the letter to respond, failing which legal action will be taken against him.

Based on the notice, on Feb 21, Awang Solahuddin uttered or made a statement to reporters in the lobby outside the Dewan Rakyat about the Prime Minister.

Nair said the statement was quoted and published in its entirety by Malaysiakini in an article titled "MP PAS: Sikap pendendam Anwar lebih teruk daripada Mahathir" and Berita Harian in an article titled "Sikap pendendam Anwar lebih teruk daripada Tun M" on Feb 21.

"Our client stresses that the defamatory words are untrue and motivated by malicious intent and distortion of facts that show impropriety on the part of our client to seek cheap publicity for political gain and purpose.

"They were also made to thwart our client's goals and commitment in establishing good and transparent government administration and supporting the aspirations of Malaysia Madani," said the lawyer.

Nair said, his client respects and supports the supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law under the Rukun Negara where all investigative and prosecution bodies act independently, adding that any attempt to suggest otherwise is to cast serious aspersions on the client’s reputation and integrity both personally and in his capacity as Prime Minister.

"Our client is also consistent with his stance in fighting corruption and supporting the independence of investigative and prosecution institutions in creating good and transparent governance," he said.

According to Nair, among other things, the slanderous comments carry the meaning that Anwar has abused his power as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and interfered in the enforcement and prosecution institutions in Malaysia, that he is unethical and a vindictive person.

"The allegations were fabricated by YB Awang Solahuddin directly or indirectly against our client as contained in the defamatory words,” he added.

He said Anwar is demanding that Awang Solahuddin retract his statements, apologise unconditionally and give an undertaking to never repeat those words, adding that the Prime Minister is also claiming damages.

When contacted by Bernama, Nair confirmed that he had sent the notice to Awang Solahuddin by post and email.