PETALING JAYA: Tony Pua has said everything he revealed in a video last week is based on facts that had already been published in the Wall Street Journal and also presented by the United States Department of Justice (US DoJ) in a lawsuit.
As such, he has no intention of complying with the demands made by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s lawyers over the “defamatory” video, which was posted on Facebook last Thursday.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP today confirmed he had received a letter of demand served by Najib’s lawyers yesterday, asking to remove the video, publicy apologise and pay compensation over the comments made in the five-minute video.
“I standby the video comments I have made which have purportedly defamed the honourable prime minister. I received the letter, served by his lawyers from Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak, who brought along TV3 to my office.
“I will neither retract the statement, remove the video, publicly apologise to the prime minister nor offer to pay any amount of compensation to Najib Razak,” Pua said in a statement today.
He added this was because he made the statements based on “established facts which have not been disputed”.
“The Wall Street Journal first made the allegation that US$681 million originating from 1MDB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance, found its way into Najib Razak’s personal bank account with Ambank Malaysia.
“This was subsequently confirmed in evidential documents produced by the United States Department of Justice (US DoJ),” Pua said, adding that Najib has never publicly disputed or denied the facts presented by the US DoJ since the lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles last July.
On July 20 last year, the US DoJ said it sought to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”.
“Despite the reputational damage inflicted on Malaysia as a result of the US DoJ’s suit to seize assets worth approximately US$1 billion acquired with laundered funds originating from 1MDB, the prime minister and his government have refused to respond to the highly detrimental allegations.
“In fact, the prime minister has steadfastly refused to clarify and respond to the matter in Parliament, despite repeated request by MPs to do so,” Pua said.
The DAP national publicity secretary also referred to a civil suit he filed against the prime minister for “public misfeasance” in January this year, saying he had outlined the same allegations as stated in his video.
“Najib doesn’t even have to sue me a second time, he just needs to answer to the charges I made in my suit to debunk any ‘fake news’ which had purportedly damaged his reputation.
“Instead, he had chosen to try to strike out my suit with a mind-boggling defence that he ‘is not a public officer’ and hence cannot be subjected to a public misfeasance suit,” Pua said referring to the action by the prime minister’s lawyers in February.
“Hence, I can only interpret the prime minister’s latest letter of demand, the second I have received from him, is an attempt not to right a wrong, but to silence the truth.”