PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Matthias Chang who was charged with sabotaging the Malaysian economy over his role in lodging reports against 1MDB in several countries, has challenged a senior PAS leader to name those he accused of seeking foreign interference.
Chang was referring to PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan’s criticism of those who lodged reports in Paris and Switzerland to urge authorities there to take action against 1MDB.
The Temerloh MP, supporting the party’s stance in questioning the recent US Department of Justice (DoJ) document detailing embezzlement of 1MDB funds, had said that it was public knowledge that certain individuals had travelled abroad seeking outside interference.
“I challenge Nasrudin to state whether or not he is referring to me and Khairuddin,” Chang told FMT today.
Chang and former Umno leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan had in 2015 lodged police reports in Switzerland, Britain, France, Hong Kong and Singapore, urging authorities there to investigate transactions involving 1MDB.
They were initially arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), before they were released and charged under Section 124L of the Penal Code, accusing them of sabotaging the Malaysian economy. They were subsequently acquitted of the charge.
Several pro-government blogs had also recently accused Chang and Khairuddin of seeking US assistance, resulting in the DoJ filings to seize assets it said was bought using stolen money from 1MDB.
Chang offered to pay Nasrudin US$1 million (RM4.29 million) if he could prove that he had gone to the US to spread false news, and conspire with authorities there.
“If he is referring to me, then I issue him this challenge and if he’s referring to me, he must show evidence.”
He said failing which, Nasrudin should pay him US$5 million (RM21.46 million) “for spreading lies, fake news and propaganda”, in addition to presenting himself in a mosque “to seek forgiveness from Allah, repent and issue a public apology”.
Earlier this month, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang questioned the DoJ’s filings in a US court, saying it amounted to foreign interference in Malaysia’s affairs.
The DoJ in its 251-page document had named individuals it said were responsible for embezzling some US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) from 1MDB. The move drew protests from government leaders, accusing the DoJ of having a political agenda.