Anwar Ibrahim has issued a legal notice urging the New Straits Times (NST) to withdraw its front-page report yesterday and apologise for accusing him of embezzling billions of ringgit.
Anwar has today through his solicitors issued the demand to the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and its editors.
PKR vice-president N Surendran claimed that the report was published prominently on the front page under the headline ‘Anwar gave order’ in an attempt to cause the maximum political damage to the opposition leader.
The lawyer also said the alleged false reporting by BN-owned media “is seriously undermining the right of the public to fair reporting” and urged the prime minister to counter the trend immediately.
According to the NST, a bank chief executive officer (CEO) had confessed to the ACA that Anwar instructed him to channel millions of ringgit into the accounts of individuals and companies in 1999.
The English daily said that the ACA (now the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, MACC) discovered the evidence when investigating alleged corruption and abuse of power by Anwar when he was deputy premier and finance minister.
However, the ACA could not offer the CEO as a witness because the instructions to transfer funds were largely verbal and without a paper trail, said the sources quoted in the report.
Anwar swiftly moved to rubbish the claims yesterday afternoon, producing a statutory declaration by a retired Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) investigation director exonerating the former in the case.
Citing the statutory declaration of Abdul Razak Idris signed on Nov 10, 2009, Anwar said the ACA had ceased investigation due to the lack of evidence.
“The investigations were conducted by a division under my supervision at the headquarters. Investigations were conducted meticulously, comprehensively and in-depth including trips overseas to Singapore and the United Kingdom.
“The investigation revealed that there is no case against Anwar Ibrahim or anyone related to the statutory declaration, therefore I ordered the investigation closed,” read out Anwar from Abdul Razak’s SD.
Meanwhile, Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia today reported that Umi Hafilda Ali had claimed she had in her possession new evidence on Anwar’s alleged RM3 billion slush fund and her brother and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s excessive ownership of assets and properties.