KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik has officially responded to say that he will not apologise nor meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s demands over allegedly defamatory remarks, the latter’s lawyer said today.
Nor Emelia Mohd Iszeham, the lawyer acting for Najib, said they will now seek instructions from him on whether to sue the former MCA president.
“We are still getting instructions from client whether or not to proceed because the lawyer has responded to our letter of demand,” she told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.
According to Nor Emelia, the response by Dr Ling to Najib’s demand for an apology was sent by the former’s law firm Ranjit Singh & Yeoh on October 8.
She said Dr Ling was “disputing” the allegations by her client in his letter of demand.
“Basically they said he will not apologise and they will stand by what they said and they will not accede to our demands,” she said.
Last Monday, Najib’s lawyers sent a letter of demand to Dr Ling, accusing him of defamation for reportedly saying that the prime minister “has taken people’s money and put it in his own personal accounts”.
In Najib’s letter of demand, he wanted Dr Ling to apologise and fully retract his remarks within seven days as well as publish the same apology in two newspapers, among other things.
Najib also demanded that Dr Ling stop making any further defamatory remarks and provide a written undertaking to refrain from making defamatory remarks.
Last Wednesday, Dr Ling said in a signed statement that he will not apologise over alleged remarks suggesting that the prime minister had misappropriated public funds, telling Najib instead that he accepted the Umno president’s “challenge” should a suit be initiated.
Najib has been implicated in corruption investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) after US-based Wall Street Journal reported in July some US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was funnelled through several entities linked to the state-owned firm into the prime minister’s personal bank accounts, two months before the tumultuous May 5, 2013 general elections.
Najib has said that he did not take any public funds for personal use.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has said it is still investigating the RM2.6 billion amount which it said is a donation from an unnamed Middle Eastern source and will ask Najib to explain the matter.