KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah has stressed that the letter given to Lajim Haji Ukin’s representative on Tuesday is to seek a public clarification over his recent insinuating remarks captured in a video clip and is not a notice of a defamation suit.
Norazmi Hj Alimat, Warisan’s counsel, explained that Lajim, president of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, has three days to respond in writing to the letter, failing which the party will then initiate civil proceedings.
Norazmi was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday to clear any misconception concerning the letter after discovering many netizens had mistaken it as a notice for defamation.
A statement was later issued by the party.
On Tuesday, he presented the said letter to Lajim’s deputy and counsel, Maijol Mahap at the lobby of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly building.
In a video and audio clip that has been shared over social media, Lajim at a public event, said: “yang bikin IC ini ialah kepala dia siapa ialah Presiden” (the one who made these IC the head of which is the President) followed by a bleeping sound that censored the name of a political party.
The video clip is believed to have been of an event held recently in Sandakan.
Warisan’s counsels are in the midst of preparing a full transcript of the video clip to verify the validity of Lajim’s remarks and are seeking the original clip without the censored parts.
Maijol has since requested a copy of the video clip and Norazmi said it would be handed to him late Wednesday afternoon.
If there is no response from Lajim, Warisan’s counsels will file a suit but only to compel him to disclose what he said.
“We want to know what was actually said on the part that was censored,” said Norazmi who added that if one were to lip read, it appeared Lajim could have said “Warisan”, “Barisan” or even “Harapan”.
Further, he was speaking publicly concerning the sensitive issue of identity cards which hit a raw nerve with Sabahans.
“The video allegation on IC is very sensitive. The people want to know, why the bleep. In that same clip, Lajim also stated that he was a committee member of an action council on foreign workers and illegal immigrants (pekerja asing dan PTI) which means he knows and that is what we want him to disclose,” he said.
In the letter, Norazmi stated that the absence of a public clarification or denial from Lajim over his remarks in the video and audio clip will be construed as a direct accusation against their client, Shafie Apdal, president of Parti Warisan Sabah.
Lajim when met denied any knowledge about the video of him allegedly making defamatory remarks.
“I don’t know who taped it and my lawyer has asked for (a copy) of the tape,” he told reporters at the conclusion of the State Assembly sitting.
Lajim added that he had already received the letter from Warisan Sabah that demands him to make a public clarification over the defamatory remarks that were recorded in the video and audio.
“My lawyer will study it first before making a statement,” he said.