Sarawak Report wishes to correct statements by the Malaysian political party PAS, claiming that they are pursuing legal action against this site in the UK.
Yesterday, the Deputy President of the party was again extensively reported as saying that this was the case as he railed against a former member of the party, who has spoken of a certain sum of money that he alleges was transferred to PAS via Afin Bank:
“Deputy President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has vehemently denied the allegations made by Husam [Musa].
“This malicious slander follows those made by Sarawak Report, which is now the subject of legal action.
“PAS will take legal action against him (Husam Musa) just like we did against the Sarawak Report,” he said on his Facebook page. [365 News]
As of this date we can confirm that the PAS Party has not initiated any legal action against Sarawak Report.
Two months ago a member of the party did send a letter, written by a lawyer, claiming he had been defamed and threatening to take legal action if we did not satisfy certain demands within a week.
However, when that week expired he did not take the action he had threatened.
Paying a lawyer to write a letter is not the same as initiating legal action. To emphasise this fact the lawyer entitled his letter as a ‘letter of claim pursuant to the pre-action protocol for defamation.
Sarawak Report is of the opinion that this individual does not have a case and neither does he embody the party PAS, which has not as an entity submitted any letters, claims or threats and would be hard-pressed to find grounds to sue under British law. We suspect that his own lawyers have given him the same advice, which would explain his failure to file a writ.
Two months on, we assume he chickened out.
Therefore, members of PAS, who continue to publicly claim that there is legal action underway against Sarawak Report in the UK, should consider the penalty for telling lies under the Hudud Law they are seeking to introduce and mind their accuracy.
They should also consider the cost of initiating a libel case in the UK, which can run into millions of ringgit, because their membership will surely want to know where they got that money?