PAS’ Zaharudin Muhammad, a figure who has been linked to the infamous recording featuring the party’s central committee member Nik Abduh Nik Aziz talking about receiving money from Umno, has lashed out against a group he dubs the “dedak cartel”.
Dedak, or animal feed, is a Malay term for bribes made famous by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In Zaharudin’s case, the cartel refers to those who received funds from Umno or those linked to Umno….
The audio clip in question was widely circulated early last year, and ostensibly depicts a person talking about Umno’s funding of PAS.
In the recording, an individual can be heard admitting that PAS leaders, including himself, late spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, and even party president Abdul Hadi Awang had received funds from Umno.
The person also says that PAS received RM2 million from Umno with the knowledge of its top leaders to defeat DAP in the 2016 Sarawak state election…..
In a series of Facebook posts which began yesterday, Zaharudin, who is the son-in-law of PAS president Hadi, .. claimed he was defending himself from accusations that he was the one who recorded Nik Abduh’s remarks and leaked it.
He said if he was the source for the recording, he would have revealed even more details, such as claims that the recording was misused to appease those who were unhappy with corrupt PAS leaders.
“[…] the recording was played to prove that the act of taking dedak was done by the top leadership – when it actually was not, and I will show proof that the act of taking dedak was not condoned by top leaders,” Zaharudin said in one post….
“What I revealed was the secrets of the dedak cartel,” he said.
So, PAS President Hadi’s son-in-law, Zaharudin Mohammad, is now admitting the one thing that Sarawak Report initially reported about this matter, which was that it was widely suspected that money was flowing from UMNO into upper echelons of PAS.
These are party officials, whom Zaharudin described yesterday in his Facebook post as a powerful ‘cartel’ of ‘dedak eaters’ (bribe takers) as opposed to ordinary members who might take money for votes (as Hadi tried to allege was the meaning of the famous recording in his court submissions).
And yet despite this knowledge and admission by his own son-in-law, the PAS President, backed by advisors who included the people Zaharudin is now effectively accusing, decided to sue Sarawak Report on the basis of a cooked up deceit.
First Hadi claimed that everyone assumed Sarawak Report must have been referring to him personally in its article, because he was so dominant in his party – even though Zaharudin now claims it was others beneath Hadi who were taking the money.
Then Hadi backed by his party continued to sue Sarawak Report for months, despite now admitting they knew people in the party were taking UMNO’s money and that the party had fallen in line with UMNO.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Najib admitted on the hustings that Hadi would visit him secretly at night before the election to plot joint policies together. At the same time Hadi’s lawyers were issuing sworn signed statements on behalf of their client to the UK court saying that PAS was still wholeheartedly in opposition to UMNO and critical of Najib and that it was therefore a libel to claim otherwise or that money had been involved in the change of political direction of the party.
Hadi and his son in law are therefore denying they personally received money, whilst finally admitting their party and a circle of important members did. So, in effect they are admitting perjury and the bringing of false accusations against Sarawak Report in the London court.
These people even lied about the settlement they paid to extract themselves belatedly from the case when they realised that SR was not prepared to be bowed and bullied and was prepared to stand up to them in that self-same court armed with the evidence they could not deny.
Hadi and his super-expensive UK law firm ought to hold their heads in shame over this disgraceful and deceitful abuse of British libel law.
British journalists need better protection from decietful foreign litigants like Hadi and UK law firms who readily charge huge fees to bring such dubious cases.