KOTA KINABALU, July 23 — Former minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said he will take legal action against Sabah Assistant Minister for Law and Native Affairs Jannie Lasimbang and others alleging his three sons were behind efforts to entice lawmakers to defect.
Anifah denied that he and his sons were involved in the alleged campaign. Lawyers acting for his sons have also said they will sue.
“I am suing the parties concerned,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail.
Earlier today, law firm Messrs Ansari and Co representing Ahmad Firdauss Anifah Aman, Ahmad Zachry Anifah Aman and Mohammad Azzidyn Anifah Aman said it has served demand letters to Lasimbang and local news portal Borneo Today over the allegation and related reports.
“We have been instructed by the sons of Datuk Seri Anifah Aman to look into and act accordingly on the defamatory statements made by Lasimbang during a press conference held yesterday and the publication by the news portal Borneo Today entitled ‘Kami bukan katak, ADUN Kapayan dan ADUN Elopura lapor polis,’ which implicated our clients.
“Our clients deny that they were involved in any manner whatsoever in attempting to induce the said assemblywoman for Moyog and or any other member of the Sabah Legislative Assembly to switch political parties nor did they appoint any agents to make an offer to the said assemblywoman or any members of the Sabah Legislative Assembly to switch political parties,” they said in a statement today.
The firm said Anifah’s sons were demanding a retraction and apology within two days, failing which they would proceed with their defamation action.
Yesterday, Lasimbang alleged that she was visited at her home on Tuesday by three men claiming to be representing the Anifah’s sons. She claimed the men were soliciting her defection with offers of cash and positions.
She lodged a police report yesterday on the matter, naming two of the men.
She also said her sister, Moyog Assemblyman Jenifer Lasimbang, she was visited by the same men at her office.
Lawmakers aligned with state government have been reportedly facing numerous attempts and harassments from agents of the opposition, asking them to defect and form a government aligned with the federal Perikatan Nasional government.
Today, the Straits Times reported a Perikatan Nasional source as claiming the party has secured 14 of the 15 state lawmakers needed to replace the current government.
This is also the second time a state government elected representative has alleged that Anifah was asking them to defect.
Last month, former Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi told Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal that Anifah had tried to entice him to join the Perikatan Nasional government.
Anifah denied the claims, saying he was merely advising an old friend.