KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The group responsible for releasing the purported statutory declaration (SD) by an AmBank staff claiming he was sacked for questioning the transfer of millions into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank account is now claiming that the sworn document is fictitious and part of a social media experiment.
The little-known group that calls itself the Citizens for Accountable Governance Malaysia (CAGM) issued an update to its blog this evening to explain the experiment, which it said proved how the media, both local and international, thrives on reporting sensational news.
“Today is a great day for us because it shows how far we can go in Malaysia if we know how to sell a ‘great’ story.
“Today, we know all it takes is diligence, hard work and a computer with internet connection (plus a mobile phone line) to make a difference,” it wrote.
The group noted that since it issued its first press statement on May 28, it has become “famous overnight”.
CAGM has issued a number of press statements that were picked up and published by the media, including one that saw it offering a RM1 million reward to anyone who could provide information leading to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s alleged “hidden wealth and assets”.
Malay Mail Online had previously spoken to Md Zainal Abidin, the man claiming to be the chairman of the group and whose contact details are provided in each media statement, and was told that CAGM counts 2,000 professionals as its members.
But on its blog today, CAGM said that Md Zainal Abidin does not exist and is not a lawyer as claimed.
“Unfortunately, we hate to break this news to you. It is time to reveal the truth.
“To our respected editors from Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini and all other online news portals, it breaks our heart to say this to you: There is no such lawyer by the name of Md. Zainal Abidin,” the group said.
“CAGM was just an experiment in social media in Malaysia.
“CAGM grew only because we were supported by editors who refused to check the facts but thrived on reporting sensational news.
“We became famous because editors wanted us to tell stories that could sell. Guess we did a great job,” it added.
Several news portals had earlier today reported CAGM’s post about the SD which it claimed was signed by a former AmBank staff who was fired from his job for raising questions over the alleged transfer of millions to Najib’s accounts.
The claim follows the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) July 2 expose claiming that documents from investigators have shown a money trail from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) into Najib’s accounts.
Last weekend, CAGM issued a press statement claiming to have court documents that allegedly show that millions from Najib’s AmBank accounts were used to “back up” Barisan Nasional (BN) parties in the run-up to the last federal polls.