PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Umno have issued a letter of demand to two media outlets over alleged defamatory reports on the party’s internal affairs.
Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said a letter of demand was issued to Malaysiakini and Astro Awani demanding a retraction, written apology and compensation of RM25 million in damages from each media organisation for “defamatory” statements published on their portals.
“Umno Youth will not hesitate to take action against any party who slanders Umno,” he said on Facebook.
“The time has come for Umno to act through legal channels as it has long allowed lies to spread, creating negative perceptions that harm both the party and its supporters.”
Last week, Asyraf said he had spoken with party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on the matter and discussed with the party’s lawyers on taking legal action against Malaysiakini and Astro Awani.
In a report last week, Astro Awani quoted a source saying a majority of Umno division leaders were against a proposal for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is also a party vice-president, to intervene in Najib Razak’s SRC International appeal.
Last Friday, Malaysiakini quoted an Umno and government source as saying Ismail was told to hold the next general election (GE15) soon or he would be sacked from the party. The report claimed that the prime minister was issued the ultimatum during Umno’s political bureau meeting last Wednesday.
Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan told FMT both reports were fake and ill-intentioned. He also denied that party leaders had given Ismail an ultimatum, describing the report as “slander of the highest order”.