Umno to sue Malaysiakini, Astro Awani over alleged defamatory reports

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Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki today said that Umno would be suing news outlets Malaysiakini and Astro Awani over what it saw as slanderous and irresponsible articles that created a negative perception of Umno as a party.

In a Facebook post, Asyraf said that he had already received party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s blessing to initiate legal proceedings, adding that he had begun discussions with the party’s lawyers to draw up the necessary papers against the two media houses.

“Both slanderous news articles are irresponsible and lack ethics.

“Malaysiakini and Astro Awani should have quoted verifiable sources, and not hide behind unnamed sources that have no basis to the extent of creating a negative perception,” he said.

It is understood that Asyraf was referring to two articles: the first by Malaysiakini titled “Kata dua buat Umno PM: Bubar Parlimen atau dipecat” and the second by Astro Awani titled “Majoriti Ketua Bahagian Umno tolak usul desak PM campur tangan kes SRC – Sumber”.

Earlier this week, Astro Awani quoted a source saying a majority of Umno division leaders were against a proposal for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is also a party vice-president, to intervene in Najib Razak’s SRC International appeal.

Yesterday, Malaysiakini quoted Umno and government sources as saying Ismail was told to hold the next general election soon or he would be expelled from the party.

The report claimed that the prime minister was issued the ultimatum during Umno’s political bureau meeting on Wednesday.

According to news portal Free Malaysia Today, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan had said both the reports were fake.

He denied that party leaders had given Ismail an ultimatum, describing the report as “slander of the highest order”.