KOTA KINABALU: Shafie Apdal wants the Star to apologise for alleged defamation and ‘trial by media’ in insinuating that he siphoned away RM48 million from the ministry.
According to a news portal, the former Rural and Regional Development (KKLW) minister is demanding for an apology based on an article headlined “MACC sifting through flow of RM48 million cash” that was published last Oct 29.
FMT, quoting Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, Shafie’s lawyer, said a letter of demand was sent to the Star Media Group Bhd Monday.
Muhammad Rafique said Shafie had complained that the report intended to bring into disrepute his image and reputation in the eyes of the right-thinking public.
“The said impugned article, as it appears, makes several disturbing and downright ridiculous and defamatory statements,” he was quoted as saying in the FMT report.
Shafie, who is Parti Warisan Sabah president, wants an apology on the front page of the Sunday Star and also wants the publisher to disclose the source of information for the article.
The report also quoted legal firm Shearn Delamore & Co, which is representing the publisher, as saying it was taking instructions and would revert to Shafie’s lawyer.
“In the meantime, all our client’s rights are hereby reserved,” said a letter by the firm sighted by the portal.
Shafie was among more than a dozen people who were detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) who are investigating alleged misappropriation of funds meant for rural projects in Sabah.
He was detained for eight days but has since been released on MACC bail, along with the others which included two of his younger brothers, three Warisan Sabah leaders as well as three former aides at KKLW.
Two Umno Youth leaders as well as two businessmen were also detained.
All have since been released on MACC bail.