PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has decided to settle his defamation suit in UK against whistleblower website Sarawak Report out of court. Hadi sued the Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown over an article that alleged PAS received RM90 million as part of Najib’s attempt to woo PAS ahead of the last general election.
Other than both parties withdrawing their claims and no order as to costs, other terms of the settlement are kept secret. However, we note that the removal of the article that sparked the lawsuit is not one of the terms. The article remains on the Sarawak Report website, unaltered and unretracted.
After spending more than RM2.5 million in legal fees and given a court date in April, a mere 3 months away, it does not make sense for Hadi to give up so easily, especially in a seemingly outrageous claim of his party receiving RM90 million from the former disgraced Prime Minister. Which brings the question – were the allegations in the article nothing but the truth? Do Hadi and other PAS leaders dare to give a simple, straightforward “Yes” or “No” answer? The rakyat, voters in Kelantan and Terengganu, PAS members, the Inland Revenue department and the MACC need to know.
Just last month, PAS was seeking further public donation to raise RM400,000 for the cost of the legal suit. Did PAS manage to collect the whole sum? If yes, will Hadi donate the balance of the money, if there is any left, to the needy people in the PAS controlled 2 states in Kelantan and Terengganu? It would not be morally right for the party to keep it for themselves.
The out of court settlement by Hadi has raised more questions than allowing it to go to court. It is my hope that Hadi will respond to the questions in the minds of many.