Anwar denies being more vengeful than Dr Mahathir, demands apology from Pendang MP
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today issued a legal letter demanding an apology and compensation from PAS’s Pendang MP Datuk Awang Hashim over the latter’s alleged false claims that he is purportedly more vengeful than former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
If Anwar does not receive a satisfactory response from Awang within three days of receiving this letter of demand, Anwar’s lawyers said they have instructions to initiate legal action against him.
In the letter of demand, Anwar’s lawyers referred specifically to Awang’s remarks made yesterday to reporters at the lobby of the Dewan Rakyat and to news reports by Malaysiakini and Berita Harian on the same day.
The comments were reported to have been made in relation to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan being charged with two bribery charges yesterday.
In denying Awang’s accusations of him being more vindictive than Dr Mahathir, Anwar said those allegations are untrue, defamatory in nature, malicious and intended to harm his reputation.
In the same letter, Anwar’s lawyers asserted that their client has never interfered in the powers of investigative bodies or the Attorney General’s Chambers to cause any selective investigation or selective prosecution as alleged, and that he supports the independence of investigative and prosecuting institutions to establish good governance.
In the legal letter, Anwar is demanding that Awang immediately retract his allegedly defamatory remarks, offer an unconditional apology in a form to be approved by Anwar’s lawyers and to be published in media outlets to be selected by Anwar, and a written undertaking or promise to not repeat the defamatory remarks, and also pay for compensation and legal costs related to this matter.
The lawyers noted that the legal letter is in line with the usual procedure taken before defamation lawsuits are filed and gave a three-day deadline for Awang to respond upon receiving the letter.
Anwar’s lawyer Datuk Sankara Nair confirmed to Malay Mail that the letter has been posted and emailed to Awang.