KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — PAS leader Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz has admitted that he was the person in an audio recording critics claim was proof that the party received money from Umno, news portal Malaysiakini reported today.
Its secretary-general, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, was quoted as saying that Nik Abduh had confessed to saying the things in the recording, but claimed the conversation about the money in the audio was taken out of context.
“Yes Nik Abduh admitted that it was him, but it wasn’t in the context that (accusers) had painted it to be,” he told reporters in Kota Baru earlier today.
“It wasn’t just about receiving money from Umno, there were many more (issues) discussed. So to me to get the real picture you have to look at the context of the entire recording,” Takiyuddin added.
The man in the audio recording had purportedly discussed receiving RM2 million from Umno, which Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown produced as evidence to back her allegation that PAS took RM90 million from then Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Nik Abduh in April last year denied he was the person in the recording, and claimed the audio was fabricated to tarnish his image.
The issue resurfaced again after PAS unexpectedly announced that Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had settled his defamation suit against SR and Rewcastle-Brown out of court, with no order to costs and with both bound to confidentiality.
He filed the suit in 2017 over a 2016 article alleging that several PAS leaders received RM90 million from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in order to covertly support Umno and Barisan Nasional ahead of the 14th general election.
PAS has been mocked over the out-of-court settlement but has insisted that it still obtained a moral victory despite SR continuing to carry the offending article on its website.
The party had also asked the members to donate to a fund amounting to RM3 million to meet the cost of the legal suit against SR for which they had already paid close to RM2.5 million.