PAS may have withdrawn its defamation suit against whistle-blower website Sarawak Report due to fear of losing should it undergo a full trial, said veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin.
In a blog post today, the media advisor to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged the MACC and the police to start investigating the claim that BN had paid RM90 million to PAS for its support now that the matter has been settled out of court.
“The question now is, what happened to the RM90 million and the RM2.1 million in donations collected from PAS members and supporters?
“Has the money been spent, causing (PAS president) Abdul Hadi (Awang) to stop the suit or does Hadi fear that the trial outcome will not be in his favour?” wrote Kadir.
Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, who first broke the story of the 1MDB scandal, had in an Aug 6, 2016, article, claimed that former premier Najib Abdul Razak was wooing PAS ahead of the general election and that RM90 million had flowed into the accounts of PAS’ top leaders.
Hadi sued Rewcastle-Brown for libel in London on April 21, 2017, over the allegation.
Last week, it was reported that Hadi had agreed to an undisclosed out-of-court settlement with Rewcastle-Brown through a consent order dated Feb 1 at the London High Court of Justice.
However, the removal of the said libellous article form the Sarawak Report website does not seem to be one of the terms of the settlement and it remains online in its original form.
Najib has also since denied he had paid PAS for the Islamist party’s support.
Kadir further alleged that the reason behind PAS’ withdrawal of the suit could be out of fear of the ‘truth’ being revealed regarding the RM90 million.
“Najib himself faces so many corruption charges in court so how can he help PAS if indeed it was proven that Umno had given RM90 million to the latter?
“Of course, Najib will deny it as he does not want corruption charges against him to further pile up. The ones he has are more than enough.
“Hadi probably withdrew the suit to avoid the possibility of sensational debates in Rewcastle-Brown’s countersuit, defeating his own,” said Kadir.
“The truth in this RM90 million issue can only be found out if the MACC and the police open investigation papers into the matter if they have not already done so,” he added.
Kadir further chided PAS, which preaches Islamic laws, for having resorted to initiating the suit against Rewcastle-Brown in what it claims to be an “infidel” (kafir) country which does not use Islamic laws.
“When Hadi initiated the suit, many people said that they will believe PAS did not receive the ‘donation’ if he swore upon the Holy Quran and on Allah’s name.
“But still, Hadi and his advisors decided to redeem their dignity and their party’s name in a court in a non-Muslim country. They were even willing to pay big bucks for it, using donations from their members and supporters,” Kadir pointed out.
All of these has now amounted to nothing with the withdrawal of the suit, he pointed out. – Malaysiakini