Amanah leaders question Hadi’s out-of-court settlement

Amanah leaders Khalid Abdul Samad (left) and Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah say suspicions on the Umno-PAS collaboration remain.

PETALING JAYA: Two Amanah leaders have questioned the withdrawal of a suit by Abdul Hadi Awang against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, saying it meant Hadi’s case was not strong and it has only served to embarrass the party.

The PAS president and the London-based journalist agreed to an out-of-court settlement through a consent order at the London High Court of Justice on Friday.

Hadi had filed his defamation suit at the London High Court following an article Rewcastle-Brown wrote, which Sarawak Report published on Aug 6, 2017.

The eight-paragraph article had alleged that RM90 million was “reckoned” to have entered the accounts of top PAS leaders to woo them into supporting Umno and Barisan Nasional.

Amanah communications director Khalid Abdul Samad today said Hadi agreeing to an out-of-court settlement was evidence of Umno and PAS’ collaboration.

He said the collaboration between the two parties was not only agreed upon but also highly regarded.

“If the case is retracted, it means the case was not strong.

“I was made to understand that the article in question will be allowed to continue being published. We shall wait for the next course of action.

“PAS also did not deny the audio recording of its central committee member Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Aziz talking about Umno money,” The Star quoted him as saying at the Putrajaya Car Free Day event.

Last year, Nik Abduh sought to distance himself from the recording in which he allegedly said PAS had taken money from Umno.

He denied that it was his voice in the recording but said he would not lodge a police report over the matter. He also said it was “up to the people to evaluate the situation.”

Khalid, who is also the Federal Territories minister, said PAS had denied the collaboration when former party members raised the issue before leaving to form Amanah.

Terengganu Amanah chairman Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah said PAS supporters were previously given the impression that Hadi had won the suit against Sarawak Report, even before the case was heard in the London High Court of Justice.

“There are many who question the dignity of PAS in settling the suit and allowing it (the claim) to continue being published in Sarawak Report.

“Now there is no more suit, and the burden of shame is still there with the continuing publication of the claim that PAS has accepted RM90 million from Umno,” Malaysiakini quoted Raja Kamarul, who is also the deputy housing and local government minister, as saying in a statement today,

He said PAS members and supporters were asking what happened to the RM3 million collected from them to cover the costs of the defamation suit.

“So now they feel cheated and are demanding an explanation from their leaders.

“Why did they seek a donation of RM3 million if the suit was going to be withdrawn?” he said.

He also claimed that questions were being raised whether PAS’ move to file the suit before the 14th general election was merely a cover-up attempt to help both PAS and Umno.