See you in court, Kit Siang tells Apandi over RM10m defamation suit

Lim Kit Siang has welcomed former Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s RM10-million suit against him for defamation on the latter’s alleged involvement in the 1MDB scandal. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Lim Kit Siang has welcomed former Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s RM10-million suit against him for defamation on the latter’s alleged involvement in the 1MDB scandal. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Lim Kit Siang has welcomed former Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s RM10-million suit against him for defamation on the latter’s alleged involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said Malaysians will finally have the opportunity to obtain answers from Apandi — whom he claimed was an inactive AG following the US Department of Justice’s largest kleptocratic forfeiture suit over 1MDB.

“There was only thunderous silence from Apandi at the time. Now, we can get the answers in the courts.

“I have instructed my lawyers, Ramkarpal Singh of Karpal Singh & Co to accept service of the RM10 million plus defamation suit by the former AG,” he said in a statement here.

Lim explained that he only managed to respond today as he did not received Apandi’s state of claim when the media first reported it.

In his statement of claim, Mohamed Apandi, who was the AG from July 27, 2015, to June 4, 2018, stated that on May 6 this year, Lim had written and caused to be published an article entitled “Dangerous fallacy to think Malaysia’s on the road to integrity” in Malaysiakini.

He claimed that the alleged libellous words in the article meant that he was involved in crime and had abetted in the 1MDB financial scandal, was a person with no morals and integrity, was unethical and had abused his power when he was the AG.

In his statement, Lim also cited three events which took place the past week following Mohamed Apandi’s defamation suit which raised doubts over the latter’s action as the AG.

“All these three episodes in the past five days raise a common question, why was Apandi inactive on the 1MDB scandal when he was Attorney-General?” Lim asked.

First Lim cited a Bloomberg report on Hollywood producer Joey McFarland who co-founded Red Granite Pictures with Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s stepson, Riza Aziz forfeiting US$14 million (RM64 million) in artwork, luxury items and company profits to the US DoJ anti-kleptocracy investigation linked to 1MDB.

According to Bloomberg, the items include a vintage French King Kong poster, a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting and several luxury watches allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds.

Red Granite previously paid the US government US$60 million as a settlement to end the investigation into its role from the 1MDB scandal.

He also said Yayasan Rahah’s board of trustee was seeking an out of court settlement over the matter.

Yayasan Rahah, which is named after former premier Najib Abdul Razak’s mother Rahah Mohammad Noah, runs welfare and education programmes for children and the Orang Asli.

The foundation was named in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) 1MDB-related civil forfeiture suit last month.

Finally, Lim cited a Wall Street Journal report stating the US DoJ was investigating Germany’s Deutsche Bank over its involvement in the 1MDB scandal and whether the bank violated foreign corruption or anti-money-laundering laws when it helped 1MDB raise US$1.2 billion in 2014.

Mohamed Apandi is seeking aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as RM10 million in general damages, an injunction to prevent Lim and/or his agents from publishing the alleged defamatory words again and other relief which the court deems fit.