PAS: Anwar training guns on Sarawak Report lawsuit to cover own leadership crisis

Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan speaks to the press in Parliament on March 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan speaks to the press in Parliament on March 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “confusing” statement on PAS’ out of court settlement with Sarawak Report (SR) is a mere diversion tactic to deflect  attention from the leadership crisis that Pakatan Harapan (PH) is currently facing, PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said.

Takiyuddin’s statement comes on the heels of Anwar’s remark in Penang, where the Port Dickson MP commented on the recent Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) revelation, that there was no evidence of PAS having received the rumoured RM90 million funds from 1MDB.

He also demanded to know if PAS made any payment to SR editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown in the out-of-court settlement.

“My question is this, has there been any payment to Clare by PAS? More than a million...but I can’t verify this, so the MACC need to give a full report on this so that there is no confusion,” he said, referring to the suit by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang against Rewcastle-Brown.

However, Takiyuddin rubbished the statement, labelling it as a desperate bid by Anwar to cover up issues within PH.

“PAS views the statement of the PKR president as a desperate bid to divert the people’s attention from the ‘confidence crisis’ of parties within PH, towards their chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the prime minister,” he said.

Takiyuddin said that the out of court settlement recorded in the London court states that the claimant (Abdul Hadi) discontinued the claim, with the defendant (Rewcastle-Brown) also discontinuing her counterclaim, adding that there was no order as to costs.

“On the basis of the above Order of Agreement, other than the parties agreeing not to proceed with their respective claims and counterclaims, the court did not make any order regarding costs to any party. In other words, the claimant, Datuk Seri Tuan Guru Haji Abdul Hadi Awang, (in the plea of the court referred to as ‘Mr. Awang’) did not pay any fees or costs to the defendant for the settlement of this case outside the Court.

“It should be noted that PAS has not paid any fees at any stage of the case because PAS is not a party to the suit,” Takiyuddin said.

Abdul Hadi had sued Rewcastle-Brown after the latter claimed that about RM90 million in 1MDB funds were banked into PAS’ accounts.

He then withdrew the case, with an undisclosed out-of-court settlement in which Rewcastle-Brown did not retract the article in question.