Letter of Demand sent to Anifah Aman

18 May 2009

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S N NAIR & PARTNERS
Your Ref: Please Advise
Our Ref: SNN/DSAI/Anifah/09

Date: 18th May 2009

Y.B. DATUK ANIFAH BIN HJ. AMAN
By Fax 03-8889 1717
03-8889 2816

Menteri Luar Negeri,                                     Certificate of Posting
Kementerian Luar Negeri,
Aras 3, Wisma Putra, No. 1, Jalan Wisma Putra,
Presint 2,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62602 PUTRAJAYA.

YB,

Re:      Libellous Statement

We act for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is the Former Deputy Prime Minister and is presently the Leader of the Opposition in the Malaysian Parliament.

We are instructed that on or about 16th May 2009, you uttered and or made a statement at the State Department in Washington during a joint press conference with US secretary of State Mrs. Clinton, that was published and/or caused to be published by Associated Press and was consequently carried by The Star Newspaper (and several local print and electronic media), which was captioned as “Anwar offered me the DPM’s post, says Anifah” which is reproduced in full and verbatim hereinbelow:

“Anwar offered me the DPM’s post, says Anifah

Washington: Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman has revealed that Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had offered him the post of Deputy Prime Minister as bait to switch sides after the general election last year.

“Just for the information of the audience here, Anwar said he would form a government on Sept 16 but he has changed the dates many times. And he was trying to entice Members of Parliament.

“I was personally offered a very lucrative position, like a deputy prime ministership.  These facts are not known to the world at large,” he said during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which was packed with American and foreign journalists.

“And he has started trying to buy other legislative members. I think he has not accepted the result of the last elections.

“We (Barisan Nasional) have lost five states and we willingly accept the people’s verdict.”

A Reuters journalist had earlier asked Clinton whether she raised the Anwar issue at her meeting with Anifah as the State Department’s annual human rights report had mentioned that charges against Anwar were politically motivated.

Clinton replied that she had raised the rule of law issues and larger questions concerning institutional reforms that Malaysia had been pursuing.

Anifah, who was clam throughout, said he had faith in Malaysia’s judicial system, citing the case of Perak where the High Court had reinstated Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin as Perak Menteri Besar although it was a ruling made against the Federal Government.

Anifah said Anwar was tarnishing the image of Malaysia.

“It is our wish and hope that he will respect the democratic system in Malaysia.”

Anifah told another journalist that Malaysia would use the “good office” of the Asean secretariat to find a solution to the case involving Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi who faces new charges less than two weeks before her house arrest was due to end after an American man swam across a lake and entered her home.

On improving US relations with Islamic countries, Clinton said that United States would seek out partners like Malaysia and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference for guidance.” (hereinafter called “the Impugned Article”).

Inter alia, the Impugned Article contained the following defamatory words uttered and or quoted by you about our client:

i. “Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman has revealed that Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had offered him the post of Deputy Prime Minister as bait to switch sides after the general election last year.”

ii. “Just for the information of the audience here, Anwar said he would form a government on Sept 16 but he has changed the dates many times. And he was trying to entice Members of Parliament.”

iii. “I was personally offered a very lucrative position, like a deputy prime ministership.  These facts are not known to the world at large,” he said during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which was packed with American and foreign journalists.”

iv. “And he has started trying to buy other legislative members. I think he has not accepted the result of the last elections.”

v. “Anifah said Anwar was tarnishing the image of Malaysia.” (collectively hereinafter called “the Impugned Words”)

The Impugned Article and the Impugned Words were and are defamatory and or libellous of our Client and in their natural and ordinary meaning and or by implication mean, meant and were understood to, inter alia, mean that:

i) our Client is a dishonest person both in his private and official capacity;

ii) our Client is a liar;

iii) our Client is an untrustworthy person as well as an unfit politician;

iv) our Client is unfit to hold public office;

v) our Client is unprincipled and corrupt;

vi) our Client has committed a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment;

vii) our Client is unethical; and

viii)our Client wantonly abuses his position in public and private office.

By innuendo, the Impugned Article and the Impugned Words were and are defamatory and or libellous of our Client and were meant and were understood to, inter alia, mean that:

i) our Client is a dishonest person both in his private and official capacity;

ii) our Client is a liar;

iii) our Client is an untrustworthy person as well as an unfit politician;

iv) our Client is unfit to hold public office;

v) our Client is unprincipled and corrupt;

vi) our Client has committed a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment

vii) our Client is unethical; and

viii) our Client wantonly abuses his position in public and private office.

Inter alia, our client contends the following in that, the Impugned Article and the Impugned Words published by you in respect of our client:-

a) are bereft of any truth, vexatious, specious, fallacious and wholly uncalled for;

b) are and were grossly negligent, reckless, irresponsible, deliberate, malicious and aimed to lower our client’s esteem in the eyes of the public, both locally and internationally, and expose our client to public hatred, scorn, odium, opprobrium, contempt and ridicule;

c) are wholly untrue, motivated by malice, mala fides, distortion of facts suggesting moral and legal impropriety on the part of our client and are principally done in your pursuit of seeking cheap publicity /sensationalism for political and other purposes; and

d) are pre-mediated and calculated to tarnish, malign, defame and seriously injure the good name and character of our client.

We are further instructed that you have republished or caused it to be republished the abovementioned Impugned Article and Impugned Words and the libellous comments.

The Impugned Words uttered and published by you in respect of our client and the comments against our client by you, amounts to a very serious libel on our client and have caused our client considerable distress and embarrassment. These Impugned Words published by you in respect of our client and comments made against our client are false, malicious and your attack on our client is wholly unjustified.

We are therefore instructed to demand from you, which we hereby do:

1) An immediate and unequivocal public retraction of the Impugned Article and the Impugned Words and the removal and retraction of all the offending and defamatory comments, forthwith;

2) An apology in the terms to be approved by us as solicitors to be published in newspapers of our client’s choice.

3) An undertaking by you not to repeat the above allegations and comments such as the Impugned Words or the likes of the same.

Our client has also instructed us to demand damages of RM100 million from you for the injury caused to our client’s reputation.

Our client has also requested us to demand payment of all legal costs that has been incurred with regard to this matter.

This letter is written in accordance with the pre-action protocol prior to the institution of a libel action. We look forward to hearing from you without delay. If we do not receive a satisfactory reply within seven (7) days of the receipt of this letter, our instructions are to institute legal proceedings against you. In the meantime, our client reserves all our client’s rights in this matter.

Please acknowledge receipt accordingly.

Thank you.

 

Yours faithfully,

S N NAIR & PARTNERS

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