Anwar dares PAS to reveal if it paid Sarawak Report to settle suit

GEORGE TOWN: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today challenged PAS to state if the party had paid money to British journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown in its out-of-court settlement of a defamation suit over allegations that party leaders had received some RM90 million from Umno.

“I just want to ask if PAS made any payment to Claire. More than a million? But I cannot verify.

“I do not want to talk at length. I have never commented on this before,” he said on the sidelines of an event here.

Anwar said PAS leaders had been issuing “conflicting statements” over the issue.

“Also, the ability to lie, which is hard to accept as a Muslim,” he added, in an apparent reference to a PAS leader’s explanation that he had not once refrained from telling the truth in order to safeguard the party’s interest.

Rewcastle-Brown, in her article published by Sarawak Report in August 2017, among others, suggested that senior PAS leaders could have received RM90 million ringgit from Najib Razak.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang then filed his suit at the High Court of Justice in London.

Last month, both parties agreed to an out-of-court settlement.

Anwar urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to give a full report on its investigation into allegations that RM90 million had been paid to PAS leaders.

MACC recently said it had yet to find any evidence that PAS received the funds.

Meanwhile, Anwar criticised those who are against non-Muslims holding key government posts, saying race and religion should not be made into an issue in such appointments.

He was responding to remarks by former minister Nazri Aziz who questioned the appointments of non-Muslims for the posts of the chief judge, the attorney-general and finance minister, saying they were not able to be sworn in using the Quran.

“I think we need to be careful with what we say because in the West, among the Christians they swear on the Bible, and the Muslims swear on the Quran,” Anwar said.

“I don’t think there should be a racial connotation here, of course, there are some concerns among the Malays that we can address,” he added.