Hadi: Neither PAS nor I Paid Sarawak Report RM1.4M

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Alleged he was approached before GE14 by a person he did not identify to withdraw the lawsuit over RM90 million claim.

New narrative:

  • Unnamed parties directed Hadi to abandon his defamation lawsuit against Sarawak Report even before GE14
  • Retracted the lawsuit against because of PAS’ “political victory” in the elections
  • PAS a “poor party” that depended on contributions – had even taken loans during elections to cover deposits
  • Not interested in clearing PAS’ name in court, as don’t want to spend too much time and money with lawsuits 

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has broken his silence over the allegation that RM1.4 million was paid to Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown to settle his defamation suit against her.

The Marang MP denied that he or PAS paid the amount.

“I did not pay, PAS did not pay. This allegation is incorrect,” he told reporters in Kuala Terengganu this morning, according to Berita Harian.

Hadi claimed that the allegation was part of an agenda by certain quarters to tarnish PAS’ reputation.

He said PAS did not have the financial means to make the payment and that the party operated on funds contributed by the public.

Hadi claimed he was directed by unnamed parties to abandon his defamation lawsuit in the UK against Sarawak Report (SR) over the RM90 million claim, the Malay Mail reported.

He purported that he was approached before the general election by a person he did not identify, who supposedly asked him to withdraw the lawsuit against SR editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

Hadi alleged he had been reluctant then due to the looming 14th general election but changed his mind after its result.

“When we found out we won Kelantan and Terengganu, did well in Kedah and gained more seats in Pahang, it was a political victory for us.

Hari Anggara

“Considering the lawsuit was a political case, and because we managed to win (in the elections), so we retracted the case,” he was quoted as saying today.

On March 1, Rewcastle-Brown claimed that Hadi had paid her the RM1.4 million.

On Tuesday (March 5), Rewcastle-Brown’s Malaysian lawyer Americk Sidhu claimed that Hadi’s representatives offered to pay his client the sum in cash.

Americk said his disagreement prompted the person who served as a mediator between Hadi and Rewcastle-Brown to write a cheque for RM1.4 million instead.

The RM1.4 million used for the out-of-court settlement came from the account of KTMB chairman Rameli Musa.

Hadi was also asked about a photo of Rameli and himself, released by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli recently to show the close relationship between the two.

Rafizi Famli

Hadi said the photo was taken two years ago when he met Rameli in Thailand to discuss the oppression of Muslims in Myanmar.

“So, the photo is not related to any discussion about the cheque he signed (to pay Rewcastle-Brown).”

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which is still investigating PAS over the RM90 million allegation, has called in Rameli for questioning over the payment.

Today, Hadi said PAS was a “poor party” that depended on contributions.

“Some even had given us loans during the elections to cover our deposits,” he said.

He claimed PAS was being singled out with the allegation that it received the RM90 million in return for backing Umno, which former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied.

The two Opposition parties have now combined in a “marriage”.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim had also raised the issue, saying he possessed credible information that the payment was made. He had challenged Hadi to sue him over the disclosure.

Despite terming it as slander, Hadi said PAS is not interested in taking the matter to court to clear its name as it did not want to waste time or resources.

“We don’t want to spend too much time with summons and suits, it takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money.

“We will only ask for the prayers from all over the country, maybe they can have a sembahyang hajat tonight,” he said.

Related reports:

Mar 6, After Ordeal, Rameli Laments How Some People Lack Integrity, Manners

Mar 5, Lawyer: Rameli Mediated Rewcastle-Brown Pay-Off

Mar 4, MACC Investigates KTMB Boss as RM90M Probe Widens

Mar 4, Report: A Simple Question for Hadi and PAS

Mar 1, GLC Boss Implicated in Hadi’s RM1.4M for Rewcastle-Brown

Feb 28, Anwar Claims He has Proof Hadi Paid Rewcastle-Brown RM1.4M to Settle Suit

Feb 2, Hadi Agrees to Out-of-Court Settlement in Sarawak Report Suit