Nazir will sue blogger behind smear campaign
CIMB boss says he will act on Tong’s evidence to protect wife and children from attacks
KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB chairman Nazir Razak, brother of the prime minister, is to sue the anonymous blogger behind a smear campaign against himself and Tong Kooi Ong, publisher of the Edge and Malaysian Insider.
Nazir said in a statement that he, his wife and two children had been subjected to “lies and slander” since he wrote an article last year about his father, second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak, and his comments on the troubled government investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Last week, Tong began legal proceedings against the blogger with the username “ahrily90″ who has published articles accusing Tong of speculating against the Malaysian ringgit to drive down its value on foreign exchange markets.
Nazir said he was unable to take legal and police action against the blogger because he could not identity those behind the blogs.
However Tong said on Friday that he has “a trail of evidence” about the blogger. “If this is indeed the case, upon my own review of the evidence, I will certainly initiate civil and criminal proceedings against the person concerned. I will also be investigating any additional recourse available for Internet slander against minors,” he said in a statement today, published by the Insider.
He said he was acting out of a need to protect his wife and children and not merely his own reputation. “Azlina and I have been extremely concerned and distressed that the attacks featured slanderous accusations against our innocent young children, actions that most parents would agree are ones that cross the boundaries of human decency,” he added.
Two blogs have targeted Nazir, while Tong and former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad were attacked in another blog.
Tong has alleged that the blogger is linked to Penang businessman Low Taek Jho (“Jho Low”), who is known to be linked to 1MDB from its inception as the Terengganu Investment Authority, and through his connections with Middle Eastern investors.
Tong said the blogger had written three blogs praising 1MDB and Jho Low.
Jho Low, however, has denied being part of the smears, and has said he was in turn considering legal action against Tong.
Jho Low features in New York real estate expose
The New York Times, in one of its five-part feature on how the influx of global money has fuelled the city’s high-end real estate boom, has included today an article on Malaysian businessman Jho Low. – The Malaysian Insider
Well Connected at Home, Young Malaysian Has an Appetite for New York – NYT
One answer resides at least indirectly in his relationship, going back to his school days in London, with the family of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak. Mr. Low has played an important role in bringing Middle Eastern money into numerous deals involving the Malaysian government, and he helped set up, and has continued to advise, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund that the prime minister oversees. – NYT
SPEAK UP SONS OF TUN RAZAK: Did your dad squirrel away BILLIONS to pass to Najib? – Malaysia Chronicle
Mr. Najib, 61, has a deep pedigree in Malaysian politics. His father, Tun Razak, was the country’s second prime minister, in the 1970s. His uncle was its third. His cousin is now defense minister.
Mr. Najib has risen through the political ranks: member of Parliament at 23; chief minister of his home state; minister of education, defense and finance; and deputy prime minister.
The family is tightly intertwined with Malaysia’s leading political party, the United Malays National Organization, whose long hold on power owes much to its close relationship with the country’s business elite. That closeness, in turn, has helped engender a culture of corruption, said Zaid Ibrahim, a former minister of legal affairs and judicial reform who served alongside Mr. Najib. Inflated government contracts are the norm, widely accepted because recipients simply turn around and donate to the party, he said.
“You know why corruption is very high in Malaysia?” he said. “It’s because the party in power is synonymous with the state.”